Since the SEMO Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition was awarded the Drug Free Communities Grant (DFC) from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in October, ailment much progress has been made. An office location was established, staff has been hired, four Town Hall meetings have been held, a community training for law enforcement agencies was held and several presentations have been made in the community.
Project Director is Jim Maginel, a long-time member of the Coalition and former Project Director for other coalition grants. Project Coordinator is Shelly Wood, a social work graduate of Southeast Missouri State University and a former part-time research assistant for the Coalition for implementation of our Youth Access Survey. Kay Azuma is serving as the Grant Budget Specialist, also a long-time Coalition member, grant supporter and fiscal manager for the Coalition. Dr. Ron Williams will again serve as Grant Evaluator, despite his relocation from Cape Girardeau to Mississippi.
Shelly has established her office at Fort Law Firm at 210 N. Sprigg Street in Cape Girardeau. Thanks to Attorney Jessica Jones, the Fort Law Firm has donated free office space to our Coalition. Jessica serves on the Board of Directors for the Coalition. Shelly can be reached by phone at 579-1921or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Southeast Missouri Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition recently contracted a training through the Underage Drinking Enforcement and Training Center for local law-enforcement officers. The training was designed to increase knowledge and skills related to intervening and dispersing house parties involving underage drinking and drug use. Twenty-six officers from Cape Girardeau Police Department, Jackson Police Department, and the Department of Public Safety participated in the training.
After the day of training, officers practiced procedures learned throughout the day at a mock house party which was staged at the Ignite House, located at 415 North Pacific Street. Forty local youth including Ignite members, Cape and Jackson Team Spirit members, and Notre Dame students acted as underage party participants allowing officers to practice procedures learned n the training.
Due to the location of the Ignite House (next to Southeast Missouri State University campus), the mock party and ensuing police raid drew much attention. Moreover, the training and mock party received significant coverage from local media. It is hoped that the widespread public attention that the training and mock party received will serve as a deterrent for underage participation in house parties where drinking is occurring.
In addition to thanking the law-enforcement officers and youth who participated in the event, the Coalition would like to thank the following sponsors; Cape LaCroix United Methodist Church for the use of the Ignite House, Southeast Missouri State University’s Office of Residence Life for providing a classroom for the training, Cora Lee at Pop’s Pizza for donating pizza for the event, River Eagle Distributors for donating an empty keg for the mock party, and support from Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart and Fred’s.
NEW MEMBERS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME – our next Coalition meeting will be Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 10:30am here at the Kasten Community Development Center, 937 Broadway, Suite 102. Please join us at the meeting or give Shelly a call for more information at (573) 587-1921. You may also wish to visit our website at www.mychildourfuture.org