LONDON – Knox County’s UNITE Coalition has been named a recipient of Operation UNITE’s “Rising Above” Award for inspiring leadership, purpose and passion in the region.

The award was presented by Gil Kerlikowske, White House Director for Drug Policy, and Fifth District Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers during a celebration dinner at the London Community Center Wednesday, February 23.

In May 2005, residents of Knox County declared they would be “taking back their community” through the new Knox County UNITE Coalition. More than 500 people showed up downtown in support of “D-Day” – and hundreds continue to be involved today.

“Focused on youth prevention, the coalition has implemented successful fishing, basketball, soccer, football, archery and theater programs – all with a prevention component that comes across loud and clear,” said Karen Kelly, director of UNITE.

“Because of extraordinary community support, the coalition revived the annual Knox County Fair, supports Drug Court and neighborhood watch programs,” Kelly continued. “Mindful of the overwhelming need for treatment, they have trained volunteers that are always willing to help addicts receive UNITE vouchers for treatment.”

Accepting the award were Coalition Co-Chairs Charley Dixon and Claudia Greenwood.