On Sept. 25, mayors and county executives from across Middle Tennessee came together to honor local governments in the mid-state for excellence in public service at the annual awards ceremony of the Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC or Regional Council). Among other services, Wilson County was recognized for excellence in Protective Services through Stop the Stigma: DrugFree WilCo for Youth Awareness.
The Regional Council, which is composed of 65 mayors and executives, two members of the Tennessee General Assembly, and 26 mayoral appointments, provides a forum for collaboration among communities in the greater Nashville metropolitan area. Each year, GNRC honors its membership and partners with two types of awards. Grand awards, named after influential leaders throughout GNRC’s history, are presented to individuals or organizations for demonstrated leadership on a regional scale. The Excellence in Local Government awards recognize county governments and municipalities for projects or initiatives that serve as a model for peers across the region. This year, GNRC presented 19 local government awards.
This award recognizes the efforts of DrugFree WilCo to prevent and reduce drug misuse and addiction by providing education and awareness of resources to youth and adults. Since its creation in August 2018, DrugFree WilCo has hosted multiple Town Hall meetings and public outreach events covering topics such as the opioid crisis, addiction and recovery. Through these efforts, DrugFree WilCo has addressed the stigmas associated with drug addiction and gives people tools to prevent addiction. The effort has reached at least 683 people and engaged over 100 volunteers.
“The work being done by the local communities and professionals working for citizens across Middle Tennessee is inspiring,” said Michael Skipper, executive director for GNRC. “It is an honor to highlight their hard work and share these best practices with the rest of the region.”