Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria celebrates 10 years during their next community meeting (Courtesy Photo)

On Thursday, Dec. 6, the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria will celebrate 10 years of citizen-led efforts to reduce underage substance use and abuse during a community meeting at Minnie Howard Library Media Center, 3801 W. Braddock, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The community meeting was originally scheduled for earlier this month but was postponed due to inclement weather.

Representatives will also discuss upcoming action plans, and all who attend are eligible to vote on open board of directors positions.

Since SAPCA’s formation in 2007, Alexandria has seen a significant decline in substance use by its youth. Formed to address youth use of alcohol, marijuana and tobacco, the coalition of non-profit organizations, schools, City agencies, local businesses, government, community leaders, youth, parents and other concerned adults has grown to over 150 members and partners. SAPCA uses a variety of community-wide strategies to accomplish the goals outlined in its annual action plans to build and maintain a healthy community.

During the community meeting, attendees will have the opportunity to vote on four officer positions and five members of the Board of Directors, which provides the policy, oversight and fiscal stewardship of SAPCA. Members and officers serve two-year terms and can stand for future re-elections.

SAPCA representatives will also discuss upcoming strategic action plans to strengthen its relationship with community partners, identify and promote positive health choices and activities for children and youth, and use social and print media and community conversations around its campaign, “A Trend to Get Behind.”