By Lynne Sproule Scheiter, CPS
Founding Director 1978-2018 Retired
As we update our web page, and I retire after forty years as founding director of the RAPRoom, I will attempt to briefly document the history of this amazing community service agency.
March 1978 – Town Hall meeting attended by 50 + members of Marlton community met to address the question of increasing use of drug and alcohol by our youth. After lots of finger pointing of blame between police, schools, parents etc., it was obvious that everyone needed to be involved in the solution. Thus a small group was inspired to create CAEC, Inc. (Community Awareness and Education Committee Inc.).
1979 - A team of six police/school/community members attended a weekend of training in Bergenfield NJ and became the Marlton Statewide Community Organization Program (SCOP) Team.
June 1980 – RAPRoom opened free walk in center for support of youth and families to prevent substance abuse. Staffed by volunteers trained by CONTACT 609, and serving as an outreach satellite to NETWORK counseling center in Medford, rental space was provided by Evesham Township Council with the original site in McKenna’s basement.
1984 – SCOP trainers assisted in writing a grant for funding from NJ Department of Health that made it possible to expand the RAPRoom program and hire a Director.
1988 – 2013 Funding from the new Governor’s Council of NJ created local Evesham Alliance on Substance Abuse, providing prevention programs for our local community. The Alliance was formed through the RAPRoom. Donating staff, office, and coordination for the next 25 years, allowed all Alliance funds to be used to support Evesham programs in schools, police and community. Lynne Sproule Scheiter served as Alliance Coordinator and CAEC Board of Directors was appointed annually by Evesham Council.
Alliance programs included: PRIDE club, SADD Club, Peer Leader training, PALS, Teen Council, Peer Mediation training, USE outward bound weekends, educational workshops, and resource center.
1999- present PARENT TO PARENT was born at the RAPRoom. A local Mom who had recently lost her son to drug overdose, met with Lynne Scheiter for support and to brainstorm how to address this growing drug problem and to hopefully ensure that other families would be saved from this heartache. Thus was born P2P as other grieving Moms met and designed a program that still actively serves Southern New Jersey families. The NJ Dept of Health grant provides an $87,000 annual grant to the RAPRoom though CAEC, Inc. to fund the program. (see P2P) page.
OUR MANY HOMES – We moved on an average of every seven years and our walk in space included: McKenna Real estate (2 separate rentals), C&M cleaners 2nd floor, The Warehouse, Blue Barn, OTC rental on Lincoln Drive, and RAPRoom current location at 1010 Tuckerton Road 2nd floor.
Please explore our new raproom.org web site for up to date information on the free services provided at the RAPRoom. Photo gallery includes lots of pictures of forty years of the many wonderful staff, volunteers, programs and youth (including the incredible PALS Peer Adolescent Listening Support) and our wonderful Board of Directors through the years.
2018 – In July we mourned the loss to cancer of our beloved Louise Habicht who had coordinated P2P for 20 years. Her loving, compassionate and wise service to hundreds of clients and staff over the years was a huge loss and she is remembered and missed by all.
2018 – Now Since my retirement in December 2018 after 40 years of service, I am so proud of the new Director, Debbie Rumbos, and P2P staff under the leadership of Colleen Howard. They continue to provide excellent service to the families of our community.