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The Community Life Improvement Project

Written by Dwight Bachman

Willimantic, Conn: -- The Community Life Improvement Project (CLIP), a collaborative effort between Eastern Connecticut State University and the local Willimantic community to promote a drug and alcohol-free community, will have a kick-off event on May 3 from 5:30-7 p.m. on the patio in front of the University's Student Center. The public is invited. Admission is free.

The CLIP coalition, formed in October 2011, consists of University faculty, staff and students as well as local community leaders, residents, landlord and liquor license holders. The May 3 event is supported by a recent four-year, $300,000 grant from the State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services ( DMHAS).

"The DHMAS grant allows Eastern and Windham to work together to address issues related to underage drinking and alcohol abuse," said Ken Bedini, vice president for student affairs. "It is a wonderful collaboration that addresses the issues we both have been affected by for many years, and our work together has helped each community better understand each other's perspective, allowing for a partnership to which we are very committed."

So far, the coalition has facilitated a needs assessment, and  based upon the findings, developed a strategic plan to be implemented over the next two years.  The coalition then contracted the Pita Group, a marketing firm, to assist with the project. Everyone involved with CLIP is working  to implement strategies that include conducting training workshops for landlords, liquor license holders, police and others. Anyone interested in participating in the CLIP coalition and the May 3 event should email simonia@easternct.edu or call (860) 465-0063.

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