29th annual CAP "say No to Drugs" March at pulaski street
(June 6, 2014 - Riverhead, NY) The Riverhead Community Awareness Program, Inc. (CAP) sponsored its 29th Annual Say NO to Drugs March on Friday, June 6, 2014. Police Officer Dennis Cavanagh, the Riverhead News Review’s 2013 Public Servant of the Year, led this year’s march.
“I’ve been part of this event for many years,” said Cavanagh. “I’m honored to be involved, and thrilled to be helping students understand they have the right and the power to make smart choices.”
Officer Cavanagh leads the march every year on his highway patrol motorcycle,” said Felicia Scocozza, CAP’s executive director. “We are excited to also have him as our keynote speaker this year.”
Officer Cavanagh has partnered with CAP to help teach a four-part STOP DWI program for Riverhead High School students, as well as a workshop at the 2011 East End Youth Leadership Summit entitled, Risky Business: Drinking, Driving, Texting and Teens. Prior to serving in the Riverhead PD, Cavanagh served in the Marines for nearly five years.
“I don’t think CAP could have picked a better person to lead the march,” said Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller. “Dennis is very aware of the dangers of underage drinking and drug abuse, and the toll these crimes take on our youth and community. This is a big honor for him and for the department.”
Since 1983 Riverhead Community Awareness Program, Inc. (CAP), a nonprofit organization, has been providing drug and alcohol prevention, education and counseling programs for the Riverhead Central School District. CAP is best known for its two-year prevention program serving over 750 fifth and sixth graders in Pulaski Street School each year. The program is taught by community volunteers and student peer leaders, and concludes with the annual Say NO to Drugs March in which students march through Riverhead wearing Drug Free Body t-shirts.
Following the march, there was a brief ceremony on the steps of Pulaski Street School in which Officer Cavanagh and other local dignitaries addressed the students and community. This year's essay contest winners, Matthew Yakaboski (5th grade) and Siena Kahler (6th grade), were also introduced.
Officer Cavanagh was a huge hit with these young students. He capped off his presentation by gathering the students behind him to take a "selfie". (Selfie via RiverheadLocal)
After the ceremony, the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge #1742 once again generously served a picnic lunch to all of the students.
CAP’s executive director, Felicia Scocozza, celebrated her 15th year anniversary with CAP this year. Thank you, Felicia, CAP Board members, legislators, Community, HS and MS CAP mentors, Riverhead PD and Riverhead community members and businesses for your faithful support of our students! See Vimeo Video from CAP.