Our Vision
We believe preventing and reducing youth substance use is a collective responsibility. We envision a community-wide collaboration to promote safe, healthy and positive youth development in Hampden and Wilbraham. Together, using effective, evidence-based public health and educational strategies, we can reduce youth substance use so that our young people will have the best opportunity to grow into strong, happy, healthy, productive adults.

Who We Are
We are a diverse group of community members and agencies working to reduce youth substance use in the broader context of promoting physical health, mental health, and safety for all Hampden-Wilbraham students. The Coalition is coordinated by the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District and supported by a five-year grant from the federal Drug Free Communities (DFC) program, awarded in the fall of 2014. Since the passage of the DFC Act in 1997, this program has funded more than 2,000 coalitions and currently mobilizes nearly 9,000 community volunteers across the country.

The Drug Free Communities model engages representatives from a variety of community sectors:


Click HERE to learn more about our Coalition members

In Hampden-Wilbraham, the Coalition is comprised of a far-reaching and growing list of individual stakeholders of parents, guardians, youth, area professionals, local legislators, and other interested people, as well as community partners such as: the Behavioral Health Network/Child Guidance Clinic, the Department of Children and Families, the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office, Hampden and Wilbraham Police and Public Health Departments, Hampden Federated Church, Wilbraham United Church, Bethlehem Church, Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District and School Committee, The MRHS Above the Influence student organization, The Wilbraham Public Library, Wilbraham Board of Selection, the Junior Women’s Club of Wilbraham, the Medical Reserve Corps, Learn to Cope, Western MA Parents Group, Center for Human Development, Pathways for Parents, the University of Massachusetts School of Public Health, Wilbraham Public Access Television, the Wilbraham Recreation Commission, the Ultimate Party, Inc., and the YMCA of Greater Springfield.

The following individuals serve as Coalition Sector Representatives:


                        Serenity Greenwood, Hampden Parent


                        Isabela Ferraro, Minnechaug Regional High School Student


                        Peter Dufresne, Wilbraham Middle School

            Business Community   

                        Maureen Margolis, DDS, MS Margolis Orthodontics


                        Anthony Aube, Executive Director, Wilbraham Public Access

            Healthcare Professionals  

                        Teri Brand,  BSN, RN, NCSN, HWRSD Nurse Leader, Wilbraham Board of Health Advisory Committee

            Law Enforcement

                        Chief Jeff Farnsworth, Hampden Police Department

            Religious/Fraternal Organizations  

                        Reverend Ralph Clark, Evangel Assembly of God Church

                        Larry N. Ottoson, President , Zbigniew (Joe) Kielczewski, Member, Rotary Club of Wilbraham Hampden


                        Kathy Fuss, Wilbraham Junior Women’s Club

            State/Local Government

                        Anthony G. Gulluni, Hampden County District Attorney, District Attorney Office

            Youth-Serving Agencies  

                        Dexter Johnson, CEO & President, Springfield YMCA, Debbie Kelder, Executive Director,

                        Scantic Valley YMCA

                        Cindy Milner, Director, Pathways for Parents

            Other Organizations with Expertise in Substance Abuse   

                        Kim Lee, V.P. of Development, Marketing and Communication, CHD