October 31, 2018:


October 22, 2018: 

Raymond Teens Push for Prevention, featured on the front page of the New Hampshire Union Leader. (Click image to read article)


October 9, 2018:

September 25, 2018: Vaping UnveiledTM with Breathe NH at Raymond High School. Thank you to the Raymond School District for bringing in this very important presentation, and many thanks to Raymond Community Television for recording so that we all may share and people can watch who were unable to attend the event: 

RCFY at the Raymond School Board Meeting: September 5, 2018

Video courtesy of Raymond Community Television

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:     August 29, 2018



Contact:  Celeste Clark


President Trump Invites Raymond Coalition Leader to the White House

Grant Funding Supports Substance Use Prevention Among Youth

Washington, D.C.—Marking the 20 year anniversary of the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP) Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program grant awards, President Trump today announced $90.9 million in grants to 731 local drug prevention coalitions. President Trump and the ONDCP Deputy Director James W. Carroll hosted a roundtable discussion with DFC grant awardees and Youth Representatives at the White House. Celeste Clark, from the Raymond Coalition for Youth, attended the White House roundtable, along with a Youth Representative from the coalition, Savannah Cooney.

This year’s group represents the largest number of single-year grantees since the program’s founding. The grants will provide local community coalitions funding to prevent youth substance use, including prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol. The Raymond Coalition for Youth from Raymond, NH was one of the grant recipients and will receive $125,000 in DFC grant funds to involve and engage their local community to prevent substance use among youth.

“Since our first grant awards were made in 1998, the DFC Program has continued to expand its reach in communities across the country.  It is a testament to the great work DFC coalitions are doing, together with community partners that include parent groups, schools, healthcare professionals, law enforcement, businesses, and others to prevent drug use and improve the health of communities,” said Deputy Director Carroll. “Our local DFC coalitions are a key part of this effort because they are relentless in their work to prevent youth from initiating drug use and ultimately, saving more lives.”


“Our goal is to make Raymond a safe and drug-free place for our youth,” said Celeste Clark. “Prevention is a powerful tool to counteract drug use in our community, and we will use this funding to help youth in Raymond make healthy choices about substance use.”


Prescription drug abuse prevention is one of the core measures of effectiveness for local DFC coalitions, and coalitions nationwide have led innovative opioid prevention initiatives. DFC’s 2017 National Evaluation End-of-Year Report found that at least 97% of middle school and 94% of high school youth report that they have not misused prescription drugs in the past 30-days in DFC communities.

Additionally, perception of risk of prescription drug misuse was generally high (80-83%). The report also found that perceived risk of misuse of prescription drugs was very similar to perceived risk of tobacco use (79-82%).


Background on the Drug-Free Communities Support Program

The Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program, created by the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997, is the Nation’s leading effort to mobilize communities to prevent youth substance use. Directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the DFC Program provides grants to community coalitions to strengthen the infrastructure among local partners to create and sustain a reduction in local youth substance use.


The DFC Program provides grants of up to $625,000 over five years to community coalitions that facilitate youth and adult participation at the community level in local youth drug use prevention efforts.


Data from one national survey (2017) indicates that high school seniors are more likely to smoke marijuana than cigarettes and that 17% of high school seniors reported binge drinking (i.e., 5 or more drinks in a row) in the past two weeks.[i] A second national survey found similar results in 2017 with high school youth engaging in a range of risky behaviors including 30% reporting past 30-day alcohol use, 20% reporting past 30-day marijuana use, and almost 10% reporting smoking cigarettes in the past 30 days. In addition, 14% reporting taking pain medication without a prescription or other than how prescribed at least once in their lifetime.[ii]

Recognizing that local problems need local solutions, DFC-funded coalitions engage multiple sectors of the community and employ a variety of environmental strategies to address local drug problems. Coalitions are comprised of community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious and fraternal organizations, healthcare and business professionals, law enforcement, and media. By involving the community in a solution-oriented approach, DFC also helps those youth at risk for substance use recognize that the majority of our Nation’s youth choose not to use drugs.


Additionally, DFC-funded community coalitions continue to make progress toward achieving the goal of preventing and reducing youth substance use. Find out more about The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy at WhiteHouse.gov/ONDCP.

August 29, 2018:

Celeste Clark and Savannah Cooney were honored to represent the great work of everyone who is involved with RCFY as guests at The White House today for the announcement of Drug Free Community grants. RCFY is going into year 9 of our funding.

View WMUR's coverage:


View the full video presentation from ABC News here:


July 20, 2018

The results are in, and the Raymond Coalition for Youth came in second for the state of New Hampshire for the 2018 Red Sox IMPACT Awards! This has given us $3,000 that will be used to support our programs that benefit the community. Thank you to everyone who showed their support by voting!

May 18, 2018

Key to dealing with opioid crisis could be talking to youth, some say

WMUR reached out to us to talk with us about talking with our youth about the opioid crisis, and substance use. Our Executive Director, Celeste Clark and our high school Youth Action students Savannah and Alex Cooney spoke with Kristen Carosa, WMUR News 9. Video courtesy of WMUR TV, Manchester NH.

April 26, 2018

Cherise Leclerc WMUR was live with Drug Enforcement Administration - DEA Special Agent in Charge Jon Delena, Celeste Clark of the Raymond Coalition for Youth and Manchester NH Police Chief Nick Willard to talk about the importance of turning in unused prescription drugs.

Video courtesy of WMUR TV.


March 19, 2018

Raymond area leaders in prevention community meet with Assistant Director of ONDCP, Michael K. Gottlieb

(Pictured: Lt. Chad Shevlin-RPD, Greg Sevinsky-Walmart Distribution Center, Celeste Clark-Raymond Coalition For Youth- Executive Director, Chief Mike Labell-RPD, Michael K. Gottlieb-Associate Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Colonel Chris Wagner of NH State Police, David Kelly- Deputy Director of New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area)

President Donald Trump came to NH to unveil his opioid crisis response plan and sent members of staff to come and learn about the great work happening in Raymond NH at the Raymond Coalition For Youth (RCFY).  Assistant Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy(ONDCP), Michael K. Gottlieb stopped by the Walmart Distribution Center in Raymond Monday morning to meet with members of RCFY and learn about their community response to the opioid crisis.

“When Washington DC calls on Friday afternoon and asks you to coordinate a round table discussion on Monday morning, you make it happen.”  Stated RCFY Executive Director Celeste Clark.

The small round table discussion included business, youth, parents, community members, prevention professionals, state government and several law enforcement partners and members of ONDCP.   The goal of the meeting was to provide information on the value of a coalition bringing partners together to address local conditions. When the coalition started in 2002 alcohol misuse was the main concern.  Over the years, the use of marijuana has drastically risen, and there has been an increased focus on tackling the opioid and heroin crisis.

Information on RCFY and data was presented that highlighted the very successful progress that has been made in areas that have been addressed over the years.  Chris Scott of Senator Shaheen’s office stated “You definitely chose the right coalition to come and learn about the value of a community working together. Celeste and RCFY have a model program that is working.”

Celeste mentioned that RCFY works so well because youth voice is a key piece to all the work they do.  Grace Woolson, a recent Youth Action graduate who will also be interning with RCFY this summer was introduced.  She credits youth sharing their voices and encouraging their peers to get involved on the difference that is being made.  “When a peer talks about it not being a great idea to engage in risky behavior it’s much more powerful than a parent.” She clearly stated that the misinformation surrounding marijuana use is very concerning.  She mentioned that young people know there are dangers with alcohol, other drug experimentation and use, but the same cannot be said for marijuana. “they have no idea it is dangerous.”

Gottlieb asked if more youth are using marijuana because there is a lower perception of risk and Ms. Woolson stated “That is definitely a very big issue.  Everywhere you look there is misinformation. Yes it’s a plant. That does not make it safe. Not at all.”

Many of the efforts of RCFY are available on their website and social media sites.  A strong focus of RCFY has been put into building a strong community with committed adults supporting positive, healthy choices.  An effort like RCFY does not happen overnight and involves many people who live and work in the community to be involved. It takes passion and a dedication to help others, and RCFY is full of great people who have both.  This is what impressed, and encouraged, board member Bill Sparks to get involved.

Mr. Gottlieb pointed out that a successful coalition has the engagement of law enforcement partners. He noted how very impressive it was to see that RCFY has strong partnerships with law enforcement at multiple levels. Local, State, and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. Executive Director Clark pointed out they are fortunate to have partnerships with the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency and NH State Liquor Enforcement as well.  

Colonel Wagner of the NH State police mentioned the strong connection he has to the other states where marijuana is legal.  He mentioned looking into how we can work together with NH Highway Safety council to get ahead of this in NH with education and facts regarding the dangers of marijuana and driving impairment.

Mike Gottlieb asked what are we missing in Washington. What do you want the president to know? Pastor Kevin McBride of the Baptist church and member of the RCFY Recovery task force responded “Local problems require local solutions that work for us.”  Greg Sevinsky, general manager of Walmart stated “this has been his toughest year within the workplace with the outwards signs of addiction and its battles. Early intervention to recovery is important.” He emphasized the powerful importance of relationships in the community working together.

The meeting was ended with a reminder “It’s a grind but there’s a lot of hope.”   Let us not forget this. If you or someone you care about struggles with substance misuse please encourage them to contact the RCFY office, 603-895-7061, info@rcfy.org or www.rcfy.org


February 26, 2018




Providing community support and access to treatment and recovery services is a priority for the Raymond Coalition for Youth. For the past two years, our Recovery Task Force has been meeting (formerly referred to as the Heroin Drug Task Force), bringing community partners together to bring services into the community.

We are pleased to announce that our partnership with Granite Pathways has expanded and now includes RAPS recovery support services in the Raymond area on Tuesdays from 9 am to 5 pm at the Raymond Baptist Church, 145 RT 27.  Walk-ins are welcome from 9 am to 2 pm, then phone calls and scheduled appointments between 2 pm and 5 pm. Those interested in recovery support services or help with navigating treatment options can reach Karen, the Raymond representative, at (603) 931-3700 every Tuesday.  (Pictured:  Karen Morton Clark, Granite Pathways RAPS and Kevin McBride, Raymond Baptist Church)

The Raymond Baptist Church has been a key partner in our efforts to provide support, encouragement and spiritual help to the community and for those seeking and in recovery. “We believe in supporting the health of the whole person.  This includes their physical, mental and spiritual well-being.” - Pastor Kevin McBride.

Granite Pathways is a 501 c-3 non-profit organization consisting of four programs, including RAPS (Regional Access Point Services); Safe Harbor Recovery Center; Seacoast Pathways/Manchester Mental Health Clubhouses; and Family Support groups statewide. These programs welcome anyone impacted by substance use disorder or mental illness. The RAPS program has been critical in providing NH residents with the support and navigation assistance needed to access resources and services for substance use disorder. These services are free of charge, and include screening, evaluation, referral to treatment, family support, case management and recovery monitoring services.  RAPS can also be reached 24/7 throughout the State of NH by calling the NH Statewide Addiction Crisis Line at 1.844.711.HELP (4357).

The Raymond Coalition for Youth has been empowering Youth voice since 2002. This grassroots nonprofit coalition was formed to promote positive youth development and reduce youth substance use and suicide risk. Our community cares and is working together to help support individuals and families struggling with substance misuse.  It is estimated that 3 out of 5 people are connected to someone who has a substance misuse issue, be it with alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, or opioids such as heroin and fentanyl. It is important to know you are not alone. Treatment works and people recover. “RCFY exists so every person will know where, or who, to go to for help and support” RCFY Youth Action members.

To learn more about the Raymond Coalition for Youth and support services, resources, places to go for help, or talking points please visit www.rcfy.org. To learn more about Granite Pathways and RAPS, visit www.granitepathwaysnh.org.

January 10, 2018

Have you heard about HB 656?  It is an effort to legalize Marijuana in NH.  On January 9th House  voted to allow for the possession, consuming, growing, and transporting of up to 6 plants of marijuana for personal possession. That's nearly 6 pounds of marijuana for personal use!  If this bill passes, this harmful substance will be much more accessible to our youth while their brains are being built.  In prevention we know that one of the keys to reducing substance misuse is reducing access.  

Our RCFY - Youth Action members have something to say about the January 9th vote by the NH House. They can't all vote, but shouldn't their opinion matter? They are the ones who see the effects of marijuana on their peers, community and families.

If this is a matter that is important to you there is still time to share your feelings on this issue with members of the Ways and Means committee  but you will need to call or email as soon as possible.  To learn more about marijuana legalization you can visit our partners at New Futures' website


January 9, 2018


RAYMOND, N.H. – The Wason Pond Pounder, Chester Charitable Foundation awarded a 2017 Holiday Donation of $5,000 to Raymond Coalition for Youth, to support programing for healthy youth and communities. (Pictured: Maria Veale, Secretary for CCF, and Celeste Clark, Executive Director for RCFY.)

On December 11, 2017, the Wason Pond Pounder announced on their Facebook page that they were looking for recommendations for local nonprofits to donate money to for a holiday donation. Dustin Ramey, financial advisor with Edward Jones, and member of the RCFY Board of Directors, immediately suggested RCFY. “The Raymond Coalition for Youth works with the community to promote positive healthy choices for our kids. The organization is based in Raymond but their network reaches far beyond the town lines. ... Thank you for doing what you do!"

The Chester Charitable Foundation (CCF) was founded in October, 2012 by a group of Chester residents that had raised money to fund the construction of athletic fields in town. The group, formerly known as Chester Field of Dreams, organized a successful fundraising event called the Wason Pond Pounder. Once the group reached its fundraising goal, the committee decided to continue holding the Wason Pond Pounder and to create a new non-profit organization with a broader scope. This non-profit, called Chester Charitable Foundation, was designated as the recipient of all net proceeds from the Wason Pond Pounder, and distributes funds to charitable organizations within their community.

The Wason Pond Pounder, their major event each year, is a 3.5 mile obstacle course race held each May. Participants from ages 8 and up are eligible to register, and waves of 75 people start every 20 minutes. The race averages 1000 entrants. 100% of the proceeds from this grassroots event go back to supporting Chester Charitable Foundation’s ability to give back to other deserving non-profits. Learn more at: ccf.wasonpondpounder.com

The Raymond Coalition For Youth has been empowering Youth voice since  2002. This grassroots coalition was formed to promote positive youth development and reduce youth substance use, and suicide risk.

RCFY focuses on increasing community partnerships and involvement, to bring resources and support into the community. Learn more at www.rcfy.org or check them out on social media.