Combining a lively tourism scene, a permanent rural community, and an ethnically diverse population creates unique challenges when battling substance abuse in Parker. The Parker Area Alliance for Community Empowerment (PAACE) Coalition was established in February of 1995 to address emerging issues of the area and unify the community on preventing substance abuse and gang activity. Over time, through needs assessments in the Parker area, the PAACE Coalition has honed its focus to underage/binge drinking and medication abuse prevention. In 2009, the PAACE Coalition was awarded a Strategic Prevention Framework Grant and in 2011, they began utilizing a best practices youth leadership curricula – Sources of Strength – for their Youth 4 Youth program. Youth participants from the program will also make up the 2012 Red Ribbon Week campaign subcommittee with PAACE Coalition member to work on organizing campaign themes, projects, and activities. The PAACE Coalition consistently collaborates with- and compliments such youth programs, in order to increase knowledge of the risk and harm of underage drinking and medication abuse within the community, as well as encourage youth and parents to talk with each other about alcohol and drug use.
PAACE Coalition has enjoyed a consistent attendance with 20 members on average participating in our monthly meetings. Community sector representation at coalition meetings includes Law enforcement, Healthcare, Education, Business, Civic organizations, Community members, Youth, Parents, Faith community, Government officials, Tribal Council, Social services, and Substance Abuse Prevention professionals.
PAACE Coalition Partners:
Parker Police Department
Town of Parker
Colorado River Indian Tribes Police Department
La Paz County Sheriff’s Department
La Paz County Board of Supervisor’s Office
La Paz County Attorney’s Office
KLPZ 1380 AM Radio
La Paz Regional Hospital
Colorado River Indian Tribes Motor Vehicle Injury Prevention Program
Community Intervention Associates
Colorado River Regional Crisis Shelter
La Paz County Probation Department
Colorado River Indian Tribes Head Start Program
Arizona Western College
La Paz County Education Service Agency
Parker United Methodist Church
Grace Assembly of God Church
Arizona Department of Public Safety
Parker Pioneer Newspaper
Parker Unified School District
The 2015 PAACE annual Coalition Awards Luncheon recognized several organizations and individuals who assisted PAACE with their mission of “Encouraging Youth to Promote A Drug Free, Violence Free Community.” Those recognized included (from left): John Gutekunst, news reporter for the Parker Pioneer; Raymond and Robert from La Paz County Park; Beverly Winterboer; Joe Salcido representing Wells Fargo Bank; Steve from the Town of Parker Public Works; Connie Lamoureum from Parker Accounting; Vonnie Harmon from Bouse School; and Violet Kiss from Quartzite Rotary Club.