MIAMI, June 16 – Miami HEAT All-Star guard Dwyane Wade will present a $150,000 check to the Miami Coalition For A Safe And Drug-Free Community at South Miami Hospital on Friday, June 17, at 1:00 p.m. The presentation will take place at the Victor E. Clarke Education Center, Classroom D. The donation, made by the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund is in recognition of Marilyn Culp, President of the Miami Coalition. It will be an annual contribution to the organization for the next five years.

Since the organization’s conception in 1988, Culp’s leadership and dedication to the Miami Coalition initiative has helped prevent drug use among Miami-area youths. According to national, state and local studies, the city of Miami has the lowest drug use among youth in metropolitan cities in the United States. The program’s outstanding commitment to the community has garnered many prestigious awards and recognitions from Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the Commission of Anti-drug Association of America and Red Ribbon. Culp has worked with 72 countries and 921 American cities to help bring similar programs to their respective areas, but South Florida has benefited most from Culp’s works. The Miami Coalition has also been recognized by President George W. Bush as one of the top three coalitions in the country.

In addition to serving with the Miami Coalition, Culp has served as co-chair of the Alcohol Substance Abuse and Mental Health Planning Council, on the advisory board of the Center of Family Studies Commission and the Drug-Free Youth and Talent Advisory Council. She is also a member of the National Association of Female Executives as well as a founding board member of the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund.

The Miami Coalition For A Safe And Drug-Free Community is a broadly based community organization committed to reducing the problems of drug abuse, addiction and directly related social issues by serving the role as a community convener and facilitator. The goals for the program are to reduce substance abuse by 50 percent among local youth over the next decade, reduce youth violence and to work to affect the impact of welfare reform.

The Miami Coalition accomplishments are impressive as it celebrates its tenth anniversary and include:

  • More than 60 % of the workforce in Miami-Dade County is employed by a business or agency with a drug-free workplace policy.
  • South Florida has been the number one media market in the United States for broadcasting anti-drug messages produced by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America for the past five years.
  • The Miami Coalition has assisted local public and private sectors agencies in generating more than 92 million new dollars for their efforts in the community’s anti-drug effort.
  • More than 4,100 crack houses have been demolished throughout Greater Miami.
  • The Miami-Dade County Drug Court, the first in the nation to provide treatment for drug-involved first time offenders, has been replicated in more than 300 cities across the nation.
  • The Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC) began processing, assessing, and placing arrested youth in October 1997. It will not only better identify the 21,000 youthful offenders arrested each year, but will reduce the time law enforcement officers spend in the booking process, thereby putting police back on the streets to address community crime issues.
  • The Coalition helped secure the region’s designation as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), bringing additional law enforcement resources to our area.
  • Numerous Federal, State, and local surveys have revealed significant declines in the prevalence of substance abuse problems targeted by The Miami Coalition’s strategies included the crack cocaine epidemic, young adult and adolescent Rohypnol abuse, and youthful marijuana use.
  • At the same time, The Coalition’s community-based drug abuse surveillance system has been consistently among the first to identify and report to the nation emerging drug problems of the 1990s including the introduction of South American heroin, the adolescent marijuana epidemic, the arrival of Rohypnol into the United States, as well as the first reporting and State scheduling of GHB, nexus (2CB), and ephedrine-based products.

The Miami HEAT is proud to join forces with the Miami Coalition to continue their impressive work for the next five years because of their belief that this commitment will have a direct and positive impact on the lives of South Florida families.