Teen coalition events take aim at underage drinking

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A local teen group is out on the town this week, aiming to deter underage drinking.

In a program sponsored by Mississippians Advocating Against Underage Drinking, What Up Wit Dat Teen Coalition and Mothers Against Drunk Driving Youth in Action began on Tuesday their fourth annual Project Sticker Shock. The activity will continue through Thursday evening.

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The Rally Against Underage Drinking, sponsored by What Up Wit Dat and MADD, will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 15 at City Park Pavilion on Lee Street. Organizers are seeking volunteers. Call 601-801-3507.

“It’s an awareness campaign,” said Dean Anderson, educator and compliance coordinator for the City of Vicksburg and MADD. “The stickers are to remind adults to not buy alcohol for the youth. It’s a strategy to reduce underage use of alcohol.”

The brightly-colored stickers feature the caption, “Know the law. It is illegal to purchase or provide alcohol to people under 21.” In Vicksburg and Warren County, 15 volunteers will aim to place more than 3,000 stickers on alcoholic beverages in various convenient stores. The statewide goal is 15,000 stickers, Anderson said.

“With everything we’re doing to decrease the youth from buying alcohol, I do see a big difference through the years,” Anderson said.

As part of the awareness campaign, What Up Wit Dat and MADD will host Rally Against Underage Drinking from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 15, during the Vicksburg Warren School District’s intercession week, at City Park Pavilion on Lee Street. Also Red Ribbon Week, a national drug prevention campaign, will kick off Oct. 23 and run through Oct. 30 with activities at local schools.

To round out their fall calendar, teen coalition members will attend a two-day retreat in November.

In other efforts to curb underage drinking, at least two schools — Porters Chapel, a private academy, and St. Aloysius, a parochial high school — will host required meetings for parents. The schools are mandating that at least one parent of each student attend anti- drug and drinking sessions before the child can enter a school-sponsored dance.


Contact Manivanh Chanprasith at mchan@vicksburgpost.com