About Us


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: Attorney Robert Burr, Jr.
  • Civic and volunteer: Harriet Burak
  • Healthcare professional:
  • 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
  • Schools Wellness Coordinator - Adam Hughes 
  • School: Derek Folan
  • State and local agencies with expertise in substance abuse:
  • Youth serving organization: TBD
  • Youth: TBD

CAASA Steering Committee      

  • Harriet Burak, Vice Chair, Community 
    Term Expires: 2024
  • Janet Donnelly, Secretary, Community 
    Term Expires: 2025
  • Helena Rafferty, Police Chief
    Term Expires: 2025
  • Wendell Robery, Fire Chief Term Expires 2025
  • Tyler Radicioni, Recreation
    Term Expires: 2024
  • James Goodrich, Board of Health
    Term Expires: 2024


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.