Operation PAR, Inc. began after a mother discovered her teenage daughter experimenting with drugs. This mother, Shirley Coletti, sat up all night and worried with her friend and neighbor, James T. Russell, who was then Pinellas County's State Attorney. Mrs. Coletti discovered that there was no place for parents like herself to turn for help. So, with the assistance of several parent advocates, Pinellas County Sheriff Don Genung, State Attorney Russell and former Pinellas County Commissioner Charles Rainey, Operation Parental Awareness and Responsibility was founded, an organization that would provide parents the necessary resources to battle drug addiction.
Operation PAR, Inc. has been putting Florida's families first since incorporating as a nonprofit organization in 1970. Prior to receiving federal funding, Operation PAR provided treatment services with a volunteer staff of paraprofessionals and professionals. Today, staffed with more than 400 employees, Operation PAR provides integrated addiction and mental health services at its various sites in Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, Manatee, Sarasota and Lee counties. – less