About Us

About CAASA

The Canton Alliance Against Substance Abuse (CAASA) was established in 2013 to address youth substance use. CAASA consists of a diverse representation of invested community partners who are representatives from Public Health, the Schools, Fire Rescue, Police, Parks and Recreation, Norfolk County District Attorney’s office, business, media, students, clinicians, and parents. Our collaboration allows for a 360 degree perspective on the issues affecting Canton and how best to address them.

In 2014, the Select Board of the Town of Canton officially recognized our group of dedicated volunteers as a town committee. CAASA held a name and logo contest in 2016. We realized that our original name (Canton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition) was cumbersome. A talented high school student won the contest, resulting in our current name and logo.

Sector Representatives

  • Business: Brian Mahoney
  • Civic and volunteer: Harriet Burak
  • Healthcare professional: Megan Berube, LICSW
  • Law enforcement sector: Lieutenant Charles Rae
  • Media: Jay Turner, Managing Editor, Canton Citizen
  • Other organization involved in reducing substance abuse: Karen Keaveney, Bournewood Hospital
  • Parent: Dan Whitley
  • Religious/fraternal organization: Mike Mahan, Director of Catholic Youth Ministry 
  • School: TBD
  • State and local agencies with expertise in substance abuse: Charles Doody, Fire Chief
  • Youth serving organization: Elizabeth Francis, Director, Parks and Recreation 
  • Youth: Ryan Gordy, Canton Public Schools Wellness Coordinator

CAASA Steering Committee

  • TBD, ChairParks & Recreation
    Term Expires: 2024       
  • Harriet Burak, Vice Chair, Community Member
    Term Expires: 2022
  • Charlie Doody, Fiscal Manager, Fire/Rescue Chief
    Term Expires: 2022
  • Janet Donnelly, Secretary, Community Member
    Term Expires: 2022
  • Kenneth Berkowitz, Chief of Police
    Term Expires: 2022
  • Derek Folan, Superintendent of Schools
    Term Expires: 2022
  • TBD, Board of Health
    Term Expires: 2023

Funding

CAASA is receives allocated funds from multiple sources. Thank you to our funders!

  • Federal Funding

    • CAASA was awarded the Drug Free Communities grant in 2020. As of fiscal year 2020, we are one of 36 awardees in Massachusetts and one of five in Norfolk County. 
  • State Funding

    • The Department of Public Health, in conjunction with Senator Timilty and Representative Galvin support CAASA with earmarked funds.
  • Town Funding

    • The Select Board of the Town of Canton allocates a portion of the town budget for CAASA's operations.
  • Community Funding 

    • Individuals from the community generously support us with donations.