M-W CARES Background

Fall 2016 – Drug and Alcohol Community Council established

  • Monroe-Woodbury High School established a Drug and Alcohol Community Council, dedicated to the education and prevention of drugs and alcohol use by students. The vision was to create a partnership with the community to help support and educate our youth to live in healthy environments that are free from the effects of alcoholism and other addictive diseases.
  • Early meetings included high school and middle school administration; high school social workers; health staff; teachers; representatives of the Monroe and Woodbury Police Departments; the Alcohol and Drug Awareness Council of Orange County (ADAC); the Monroe-Woodbury Clergy Association; the Monroe-Woodbury PTA Council; Catholic Charities; the Orange County District Attorney’s Office; and Monroe-Woodbury students.

Late Fall 2016 – “Save a Life Forum”

  • Many awareness and education programs were discussed and planned. With the support of the school district, police departments, the New York State National Guard Counter Drug Task Force and the Monroe-Woodbury Clergy Association, a “Save a Life Forum” was held in late fall 2016.
  • This forum led to discussions about holding a larger event for high school students with various speakers addressing key topics of interest. Retired amateur boxer and professional wrestler Marc Mero, founder of Champion of Choices, was the first speaker to be identified for this event.

May 2017

  • M-W Middle School Principal John Kaste and members of the Drug and Alcohol Council attended an event at a NJ middle school, where Mero was serving as keynote speaker. His messages of resilience and ways to make positive changes in the world gave root to the idea of bringing something similar to M-W.

June 2017

  • M-W CARES Committee is formed and the concept of M-W CARES DAY is born. The committee identified the values on which the event is built: Compassion, Acceptance, Respect, Empowerment and Success (C.A.R.E.S.). Friday, October 26, 2018, is officially designated as M-W CARES Day.
  • A logo contest was held and M-W High School student Christina Bitzer’s entry was selected and has come to represent what M-W CARES Day stands for.

June 2017 – January 2018

  • Organizers researched, recruited and confirmed the attendance of over 100 speakers — from all walks of life and from all areas of the nation – to speak on the values that represent what the day will be all about.
  • Organizers hope speakers’ experiences will help students face their own struggles or challenges and open a dialogue about their feelings or situations, making a difference in their own lives or the lives of others.