Sunday, February 10, 2002

Some Good News

War waged on underage drinking

       Ohio Parents for Drug Free Youth has declared war on underage drinking with $78,000 in grant money to 39 communities across the state.

        The Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati is one of the recipients of the grant. Each community received $2,000 to implement a program, “Parents Who Host Lose The Most: Don't be a Party to Teenage Drinking.”

[photo] Josh Kuhl, 15, (left) and Orlando Thompson, 15, cover the floor inside Westwood Elementary School.
(Enquirer photo)
| ZOOM |
        The intent is to start a public awareness campaign, especially during prom and graduation season this year.

        Patricia Harmon, executive director of Ohio Parents for Drug-Free Youth, said the grants will help mobilize and encourage communities to support each other in hosting safe, alcohol-free parties.

        She said the campaign targets the parents of teen-agers, addressing the legal consequences of hosting house parties where their teens' friends consume alcohol.

        “The goal of the "Parents Who Host Lose the Most' campaign is to inform parents that hosting teen drinking parties should not be regarded as a "rite of passage,' but as a health and safety issue with legal ramifications,” she said.

        Mrs. Harmon said they will spread the message about the program through newspapers, radio and television.

        “We have 14 corporations working with the program who will distribute information to employees and customers,” she said. “We will kick off the program in Columbus on March 20 with first lady Hope Taft at the State Office building.”

        A targeted household survey, conducted by the state last year, showed that the easiest alcoholic drink for kids to get is beer, followed by wine coolers and “alcopops,” drinks made of soda pop and alcohol.

        The survey showed that underage kids said friends, other adults and parents buy drinks for them, and they can get them through convenient stores and drive-through stores.

        On the question of whether underage kids had been at a party in the last three months where alcohol was served, 28 percent of parents said they believed their kids had, and 39 percent of the kids said they had.

        To get more information about the “Parents Who Host Lose The Most” program, call 614-540-9985.

        Westwood Concern, a civic group made up of Westwood residents, is sprucing up Westwood Elementary School, 2981 Montana Ave.

        “We are trying to finish painting it before the home tour starts in April,” said Mary Kuhl, a member of the group. “Our goal is to paint the entire school, but we might be only able to finish the interior by April.”

        They started the project on Feb. 2.

        Mrs. Kuhl said they have received donations of paint and material from local businesses and residents.

       Allen Howard's “Some Good News” column runs Monday-Friday and Sundays. If you have suggestions about outstanding achievements, or people who are committing random acts of kindness that are uplifting to the Tristate, let him know at (513) 768-8362; at; or by fax at (513) 768-8340.


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