Carbon County officials want to shine light on a big problem in the county.

On Friday, April 26, the fourth annual Legislative Brunch, sponsored by the Interagency Council of Carbon County and the Child and Famly Collaborative Board, will bring to light the drug and alcohol problem in the communities and state; and look into ways of finding solutions.

The event, which is open to all county agencies; as well as the public, will be held at the Whispering Pines, Penn Forest Volunteer Fire Company 1, 1387 State Route 903, Jim Thorpe. Doors open at 9 a.m., brunch begins at 9:30, and the panel discussion program will start at 10.

Commissioner Wayne Nothstein, who co-chairs the Child and Family Collaborative Board, said that the goal of the brunch is to bring attention to a very prominent drug and alcohol problem being faced by municipalities and the county.

"This is something that affects the whole county," Nothstein said. "Because the increase in drug usage, we are seeing a rather large increase in cases involving the court system and it's overcrowding our prison. It's extremely important that we work on solutions because it is becoming quite costing for the counties; as well as the municipalities and local police departments."

Guest speakers at the event will include the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Gary Tennis; Executive Deputy Secretary of the Budget Peter Tartline; Tim Tkach of the Lehighton Area School District; the Carbon-Monroe-Pike Drug and Alcohol Commission; and a parent whose son passed away as a result of drugs and how drugs has affected her family.

The brunch committee strongly encourages agencies; as well as the public to attend to learn about this problem and help with finding solutions. The cost for the brunch is $12, which will benefit an annual grant given by the Interagency Council of Carbon County at the brunch to one agency that works to benefit the community.

Applications are still available for the grant, and can be obtained by emailing carboninteragencycouncil@yahoo.com [1] or calling Cheri Mae Santore at 1-800-441-1315.

Deadline for submission is March 28. Applications should be mailed to IACC c/o Mindy Graver, Penn State Extension Office, 529 Lentz Trail, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229-0060 or email it to mjg26@psu.edu [2].

Sponsorship is also available for the event. Sponsors could be for $50, $75 or $100. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Graver at (570) 325-2788.

To register for the brunch, make checks payable to Interagency Council of Carbon County and send it to Graver at the aforementioned address. Deadline for registration is April 12.