The Helping Engage Youth (HEY!) Coalition, which is part of Piedmont Community Services in Martinsville, and the Prevention Council of Roanoke County were two of 11 Virginia organizations that received funding from the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) yesterday through its inaugural Education & Prevention Grant Program.
Virginia ABC hosted a reception at the ABC regional office in Staunton to distribute checks of up to $8,000 to representatives from the 11 organizations in support of their education and prevention projects. Virginia ABC Chairman Jeff Painter and other agency officials offered remarks to the grant recipients at the special ceremony.
The HEY! Coalition was awarded $8,000, the maximum grant amount, for their “STOP Underage Drinking” campaign. The coalition, which partners with Communities Helping Improve Local Lives (CHILL) to empower youth and families to make positive lifestyle choices, will work to reduce underage drinking through a media campaign that informs adults about the risks associated with providing alcohol to underage youth. The coalition will work to ensure the community understands its responsibility and the reasons for preventing youth access to alcohol.
In addition, the partners will use enforcement efforts to deter underage use, purchase, possession and sale of alcohol, including Project Sticker Shock, an initiative that utilizes youth volunteers to enter convenience and grocery stores to place a red, stop-sign-shaped sticker on cartons of alcohol. The red sticker reminds the buyer that it is illegal to purchase alcohol for those under the age of 21.
The Prevention Council of Roanoke County was awarded $3,350 for a spring prevention program. The council will use public relations and advertising techniques to generate media messages targeting parents in the community. These messages—which will carry the tagline “Parents Who Host Lose the Most”—will aim to increase community understanding that underage drinking is unhealthy. It will also inform adults about the legal consequences of enabling underage drinking. As part of the initiative, the council will promote increased DUI patrols by local government and law enforcement.
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 in grants.
“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.
Virginia ABC Awards Grants to Prevention Council of Roanoke County and Martinsville’s HEY! Coalition