COMA gets grant, but needs match |

COMA gets grant, but needs match

Brandon Johnson

A Craig group working to prevent drug abuse recently learned it could receive a $5,000 grant from a Colorado Springs nonprofit organization.

But there’s a catch.

Before Communities Over–coming Methamphetamine Abuse receives the grant next month from the El Pomar Foundation, it must raise $5,000 to match it.

COMA formed in 2004 to combat meth use and educate the community about the drug.

Annette Gianinetti, the anti-drug group’s chairwoman, said she is confident it will raise the matching funds.

“I’m hoping we can overshoot that $5,000,” Gianinetti said.

The group took a big step toward reaching its goal Tuesday, when the Moffat County Commissioners pled–ged $2,000.

Commissioners gave the group $2,000 last year, as well.

Commissioner Saed Tayyara said every government official he talks to, whether he or she is from California or Mississippi, tells him meth abuse is a growing problem in his or her community.

“It’s a serious problem,” Tayyara said. “It’s hurting our kids.”

If the group raises the $5,000 match and receives the grant from El Pomar, it would have nearly double the budget it had last year, Gianinetti said.

With the money, Gianinetti said she hopes to better inform the community about meth and its effects.

The group also plans to work with local officials to create a drug court in Moffat County. The court would provide drug offenders with a chance to receive counseling under the supervision of a probation officer, rather than go to jail.

Gianinetti said the recent formation of Snake River COMA in Wyoming shows that people in the region are starting to take notice of the meth problem.

“More people are starting to realize that locally, we have to do something,” Gianinetti said.

In addition to the money from the county, the group recently raised $1,000 from local businesses and residents, putting it closer to its $5,000 goal.

Gianinetti said she plans to ask the Craig City Council for funding next month.

Seema Garoutte, the group’s secretary and a member of the executive committee, said she is confident the group will get the matching donations.

With the holidays approaching, it might be tough to raise the money, Garoutte said. But even small donations would go a long way, she said.

For more about the group, visit

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or

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