Public Info

Celebrating Community Service: Honoring LACADA Volunteers in Union County

The Union County Board of County Commissioners is proud to announce the Local Advisory Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (LACADA) Annual Municipal Volunteers of the Year (VOY), who were honored at the annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony, Tuesday, April 23, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. at the Galloping Hill Caterers, 325 Chestnut Street, Union, NJ. The event coincides with National Volunteer Week 2024 (April 21st – April 27th) & Alcohol Awareness Month (April).

“The Union County Board of County Commissioners proudly recognized the dedication of Municpal Alliance volunteers who tirelessly promote healthy lifestyles and combat substance misuse within our communities,” said Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded. “We honored the selflessness, dedication, and compassion embodied by our volunteers, the backbone of our County, who actively create positive change. The statstics from 2023, represent not just numbers, but testimonies to the power of community, the strength of collaboration, and the beauty of selfless service.”

This year the Commissioners, through the County’s Department of Human Services, Division of Individual and Family Support Services, are proud to honor the volunteers and staff who work tirelessly to prevent alcoholism and drug misuse throughout the year. At last night’s annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony the following were honored:

2024 Municipal Volunteers of the Year
o Plainfield: Detective Jesse McNiell, Jr.
o Roselle Park: Ana Amu Chacon
o Elizabeth: Julian Robles
2024 Union County Municipal Volunteer of the Year
o Elizabeth: Julian Robles

Remarks were delivered by Union County Commissioner Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded, Union County Commissioner and LACADA Liaison James E. Baker, Jr., Debbie-Ann Anderson, Director of Union County Department of Human Services, and Carol Berger, Chair of the Local Advisory Committee on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse (LACADA). The keynote address was delivered by Jill Hall, FY2022 VOY Winner, Union HS Student Assistant Counselor.

By state law, members of the Municipal Alliance are appointed by the governing body (Board of County Commissioners) from a variety of community stakeholders including representation from education, health, law enforcement, faith-based entities, business, civic groups, non-profit organizations, and government officials. Municipal Alliance members develop alcohol and substance prevention and treatment plans to address local priorities. These plans are reviewed by the LACADA and the Commissioner Board. Funding comes from the state’s Governor’s Council on Substance Use Disorder (GCSUD) and the Board of County Commissioners.

“In my role as the Advisory Board liaison, it was my privilege to speak last night and express our appreciation for the extraordinary individuals in our volunteer community,” said Commissioner James Baker, Liaison to the LACADA Advisory Board. “The passion and commitment each one brings are the catalysts for our progress, propelling us forward with each endeavor. Our volunteers are the driving force behind our initiatives, representing the spirit of selflessness and dedication that sets a standard for us all.”

The most current Municipal Alliance data is from FY2023 (FY2024 statistics are not yet available, as the grant ends 6/30/2024):

• 40,279 citizens participated in County and Municipal Alliance activities.
• 52 activities were run by 14 Union County Municipal Alliances.
• 940 community members volunteered on their local Municipal Alliance activities.
• 228 community members have volunteered on their Municipal Alliance committees.
• 7 Community members have volunteered on the Local Advisory Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (LACADA).
• 6 Community members have volunteered on the County Alliance Steering Sub-committee (CASS).

In 2024, Union County will receive $244,862 from the state for Municipal Alliance activities.

For more information about Union County’s substance misuse services, please contact the Union County Department of Human Services, Division of Individual and Family Support Services, by calling (908) 527-4844 or online at