The Northland Coalition installed their 2017-18 officers during their Aug. 16 meeting. The officers are (left to right) Charlotte Smith, vice-president of advocacy; Ron Cline, president; Sherrie Kisker, president-elect; and Kara White, secretary. Not pictured: Tom Mayfield, treasurer. The Northland Coalition is composed of volunteer members of the health, education, social service, law enforcement and legal fields, as well as members of the community at large. The coalition is supported by Tri-County Mental Health Services, grants and community donations and is dedicated to working for substance and violence free communities. The group meets monthly and welcomes new members to their luncheon meetings. For more information visit or call (816) 877-0401.

Marlo Howard, a long-time member of Kearney-Holt CAN (Community Acting Now) was the featured “Sparkling Moment” speaker at the August 16 Northland Coalition luncheon meeting.

Howard presented a brief history of the community volunteer group, which was formed in 1993 under the name Kearney C-2000, as well as some of the coalition’s past successes and recent activities.

Among the successes achieved through the CAN coalition’s efforts was the installation of a drop box for the safe disposal of prescription drugs at the Kearney Police Dept.

The efforts of CAN also led to the successful passage of Keg Registration, which facilitates tracking kegs sold in order to address underage drinking.

The coalition has also used social marketing campaigns to educate the community about substance use issues.

The “Lock Your Meds” campaign addressed the problem of prescription drug abuse, and the “Do The Math” campaign used billboards and direct mail to educate the public about the negative impact of marijuana use.

Currently, the coalition is working on a community follow-up educational campaign on the dangers of marijuana use.

The “What’s the Big Deal” campaign will include public service announcements, banners and fliers to inform the community about facts highlighting the negative impact of marijuana use by young people.

Additionally, the campaign will inform the community about a valuable toolkit developed by the Partnership for Drug Fee Kids designed to help parents and caregivers talk to their children about the dangers of marijuana use. The Northland Coalition has made the Marijuana Talk Kit available for free download at

Kearney-Holt CAN is one of the many community coalitions across the Northland area that operate under the umbrella of the Northland Coalition, which, with the assistance of Tri-County Mental Health Services, offers support for the coalitions’ educational substance abuse prevention programs and activities.

Anyone who lives or works in the Kearney-Holt area is welcome to join CAN. For more information, contact Howard at (816) 215-7858 or