Coalition marks 15 years, hosts D.C. guest

Published 5:16 am Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Washington Parish Coalition on Human Services recently heard a presentation from Jerry Campbell, Public Health Advisor for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in Washington, D.C.

Campbell was in Bogalusa for a site visit of ADAPT, Inc. who is a grantee for Drug-Free Communities (DFC). The meeting was held on Tuesday, March 28, at Elizabeth Sullivan Memorial United Methodist Church. Campbell, who grew up in Chicago, talked about strong, caring adults who had mentored him early and who are responsible for where he is now. He called them “social engineers.” There are 694 Drug Free Communities grants, of which seven are in the state of Louisiana.

“My intent is to springboard more coalitions like this one,” Campbell said.

Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette, presented a key to the city to Jerry Campbell.

The meeting highlighted the coalition’s 15th anniversary, with representatives from hospitals, law enforcement, mayors, city council and state representatives, non-profits, area businesses, schools and faith based organizations.

Michael Norman invited the group to Lady of the Angels Family Fest: Adventures in Health, which will be held on Saturday, April 1, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Goodyear Park (Avenue B). The Family Fest will mark the first Bogalusa Farmers’ Market, which will be held on Saturdays during growing season. People can use their SNAP benefits to double their money on food or plants purchased at the farmers’ market. For people who are interested in being a vendor, send an email to

Youth will enjoy the “Play Zone” with obstacle courses, stuffed animal clinic, face painting, and inflatables. There will be lots of fun activities for the entire family. For further information, visit

Charlette Fornea, executive director of ADAPT, reported on the Drug Free Communities grant, which gives members an opportunity to engage in multiple adult and youth-oriented opportunities such as Spring Fest — a festival to fight substance abuse. Regina Meyerchick invited the group to participate in Spring Fest, which was held Friday, March 31, at Franklinton High School.

“Jeans for Justice” will be celebrated on Friday, April 7, with a locally designed T-shirt featuring a quote from Maya Angelou, “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”

Now, every year, as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, the Jeans for Justice Campaign is resurrected as a reminder that what we wear is never an excuse for rape.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 25, at 9:30 a.m. at Elizabeth Sullivan Memorial United Methodist Church in Bogalusa, with a preliminary committee meeting at 8:30 a.m. Light refreshments will be served.