As York County’s All on Board Coalition fights to stay afloat following a “clerical error” resulting in the loss of nearly a half-million dollars of federal funding, local community leaders are stepping in to help.
Bob Norwood is the Executive Director of the nonprofit that, since 2003, has led an effort to curb underage alcohol consumption, and later, to stop alcohol and drug abuse in York County.
Norwood says he’s now in full-fledged fundraising mode seeking to keep All On Board’s doors open through the next year.
“We want to bridge the gap, so we can get to the grant application process,” Norwood said. “[Then] we can reapply for another five years.”
Norwood said the an error in the boards’ meeting minutes led to a loss in funding from a Drug Free Communities grant.
The individual who committed that error, Norwood said, is no longer associated with the organization.
The grant, first awarded to All on Board in 2008, paid $125,000 a year for five years. All on Board re-applied for a second five-year grant in March.
The gap is $125,000 that will fund half of All on Board’s budget through September, when Norwood expects the grant money to resume.
In the mean time, several community leaders have stepped up to help.
At a meeting with local law enforcement leaders earlier this month, Norwood said York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant and 16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett both pledged $15,000 each towards the organization’s operating budget. The York County Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit also pledged another $2,400.
Gary Williams, president of student loan collection firm Williams & Fudge contributed $10,000 and Physician’s Choice Laboratory Services, which recently opened a new facility off Red River Road in Rock Hill, pitched in $2,500.
Norwood said the funding as a tremendous help.
“It took away the immediate pressure,” Norwood said. “It at least funded us through the end of the year so we can get a toehold on this problem.”
The All on Board Coalition works to curb underage drinking and alcohol abuse, leading prevention efforts that involve students, parents and educators.
The group also works with law enforcement and retail merchants to stop the sale of alcohol to minors.
If you would like to help contribute to All on Board, visit www.allonboard.org.