SUAVE, SIP, HEY, SAFE, TIPS, CHILL, ART: What do all of these acronyms have in common? Each is an initiative run by a Virginia organization that recently received funding from the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) through its inaugural Education & Prevention Grant Program.
Yesterday, representatives from community groups across the state attended a Virginia ABC-hosted reception at the ABC regional office in Staunton and accepted checks of up to $8,000 in support of their education and prevention projects. Virginia ABC Chairman Jeff Painter and other agency officials offered remarks and presented checks to the grant recipients at the special ceremony. Organizations receiving grant awards include:
- City of Waynesboro Office on Youth - Waynesboro
- Awarded $6,350 to facilitate Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) clubs in community high schools, conduct Project Sticker Shock campaigns and offer community-wide alcohol awareness events.
- Helping Engage Youth (HEY!) Coalition/Piedmont Community Services - Martinsville
- Awarded $8,000 to partner with Communities Helping Improve Local Lives (CHILL) on a media campaign that highlights the dangers of providing youth access to alcohol.
- James Madison University, Futuro Latino - Harrisonburg
- Awarded $8,000 for a multi-media outreach campaign in the Latino community that increases the knowledge of the harm that may come from underage drinking and alcohol misuse, and for activities to enhance retail compliance.
- Longwood University Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) Team - Farmville
- Awarded $8,000 for Training for Intervention ProcedureS (TIPS) education on alcohol misuse for up to 500 student leaders.
- Middlesex County Public Schools - Saluda
- Awarded $7,975 for LifeSkills® Training Program, to promote youth development and prevent underage drinking and high-risk behaviors among middle and high school students.
- Planning District One Behavioral Health Services - Norton
- Awarded $7,897 for a fall conference and spring community event at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise to address underage drinking, driving under the influence (DUI) and binge drinking.
- Prevention Council of Roanoke County - Roanoke
- Awarded $3,350 for media messaging that informs adults about the negative health impacts of underage drinking and legal consequences of providing alcohol to youth.
- Shenandoah University - Winchester
- Awarded $7,660 for the Students in Prevention (SIP) group to provide Training for Intervention ProcedureS (TIPS) to increase bystander intervention and reduce underage alcohol use.
- Substance Abuse Free Environment Inc. (SAFE) - Chesterfield
- Awarded $7,960 for the creation of the Central Virginia Latino Coalition Initiative, which enhances the Latino community’s understanding of Virginia ABC laws.
- Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department - Richmond
- Awarded $8,000 for Operation SafeWay, which uses enforcement efforts to reduce underage alcohol possession and consumption among students.
- Warren County Community Health Coalition - Front Royal
- Awarded $8,000 for ads promoting Stopping Underage Alcohol Violations and Enforcing Alcohol Regulations and Traffic Laws (SUAVE ART) initiatives and to increase enforcement compliance checks.
Virginia ABC received 28 applications for its Education & Prevention Grant Program, and the grant review committee chose 11 recipients. In total, Virginia ABC is supplying $81,192.
“This is the first year ABC offered the Education & Prevention Grant Program, and we were impressed with the number of high-quality proposals we received,” said Painter. “The grant review committee selected programs that are innovative, have a long-lasting impact on the community, reach large numbers of citizens and encourage partnerships between organizations.”
The grant cycle runs through June 2015 and each organization has until then to implement its proposed program.
The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing more than $1.8 billion to the general fund in the last five years. The agency currently operates 350 state stores. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees more than 16,000 ABC licensed establishments while the Hearings and Appeals Division considers more than 700 cases each year. The agency also provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Now celebrating its 80th anniversary, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its control, service and revenue mission.