Hunterdon County Youth Coalition Addresses Underage Drinking With the Help of Local Restaurants

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The Hunterdon County Safe Communities Youth Coalition (HCYC) on Monday night to implement a creative way to address underage drinking in Flemington. The HCYC were able to partner with local restaurants to place awareness stickers on pizza boxes as part of the national Sticker Shock campaign, intended to remind the community of the legal consequences of providing alcohol to minors.

IMG_9195Jack’s Pizza, Gabby’s Pizza, and Al Fresco’s were all gracious enough to help by utilizing their pizza boxes for this initiative. In total, the HCYC were able to sticker 113 pizza boxes to raise awareness on how detrimental serving minors can be and hopefully prevent underage drinking. This message is so important because underage drinking in Hunterdon County is twice as high as the national average.

“This is very concerning,” said Safe Communities Coalition Project Director, Lesley Gabel. “Addressing alcohol consumption is critical in reducing addiction of all kinds within our community, and it starts with our young people recognizing and educating others on the risks of underage drinking.”

The HCYC was put into place to help address the alcohol problem and empower the youth to abstain from substances in a fun and exciting environment. This meeting they enjoyed themselves by hosting an Ugly Sweater contest, enjoying dinner, and playing a Trivia Game that tested their knowledge about Alcohol Awareness. The purpose of the meeting was to show these young adults that they can have an amazing time without any substances involved. The trivia game was a way to educate the youth about the misconceptions and harmful effects of alcohol.

To add to the fun, HCYC members voted amongst each other and received prizes for the ugliest sweaters. Although everyone’s sweaters were pretty ugly, the winners included grand prize winner: Michael Connelly, 2nd Prize Winner: Olivia Artale, and 3rd Prize: Winner Shannon Mulligan.

IMG_9182Pictured left, are Jack Kaeser and Amy Menes

The Leader of the month was awarded to Jack Kaeser! Amy Menes, the HCYC Coordinator, said, “Jack has gone above and beyond to help with the logo design, spread the word about HCYC, and lead the HCYC in his senior year. We’re very thankful for all his hard work and commitment to HCYC!”

Overall, it was really nice to see these local restaurants donate their pizza boxes to help raise awareness for a good cause. Even though a sticker on a pizza box may seem like a miniscule thing, it can lead to much bigger changes. Chuck Ranges from Alfresco’s said, “We’re always happy to do something to help the community!”

The HCYC is always looking for more ways that they can work with local organizations to help spread the message and educate the community. “This event was a huge success and we can’t wait to continue to help the youth in our community live a happier and healthier life” Amy concluded.

For more information on the Coalition, visit our website at www.safecoalition.org or follow us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/SafeCommunitiesCoalition, Twitter @HSCoKnowINFO or Instagram at safe_communities.

The Hunterdon County Youth Coalition is open to all county high school students. Current members are from Hunterdon Central, North Hunterdon, Voorhees and Mount Saint Mary’s. The mission is to reduce underage drinking and substance abuse in Hunterdon County. For more information on how to join, please RSVP to Amy, atamenes@hunterdonprevention.com, or contact Amy via Remind mobile app, @joinHCYC. .

Al Fresco's cid:7bfb3798-5afa-4d57-b423-2887bc374e81@namprd15.prod.outlook.comJack's Pizzacid:8ba85b2b-ed53-4fdc-b7bb-16b2ab8e1f29@namprd15.prod.outlook.comGabby's Pizzacid:4287f270-9544-4c88-8efe-ed3ef5f017c4@namprd15.prod.outlook.com