Nearly $18,000 derived from drug busts in DuPage County went to a better cause Wednesday, as prosecutors awarded the funds to 35 local school groups.
The money will assist anti-drug programs such as Red Ribbon and Character Counts, and subsidize related curriculum and scholarships.
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"These programs are the first line of defense in the war on drugs," State's Attorney Bob Berlin said at a ceremony in Wheaton attended by teachers, school administrators and students.
The grants totaling $17,800 were part of the 2012-13 Drug Forfeiture Grant Program headed by the state's attorney's office. Since 1990, the program has given out 542 grants totaling more than $210,000, according to a news release.
More than 16,000 students stand to benefit from this year's awards, officials said.