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Under-age drinking discussed

TICONDEROGA - The Town of Ticonderoga Community Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol initiative recently hosted a "Town Hall Meeting" to discuss under-age drinking.

The 90-minute meeting sparked lively conversations. Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague attended with her five assistant attorneys. Also attending were individuals from other local organizations: Wal Mart's store manager, the Ticonderoga town supervisor, staff and students from Ticonderoga Central Schools, representatives from the Ticonderoga Police Department, New York State Police, Essex County Treasurers Office, Ticonderoga-Putnam-Hague CYC and the Prevention Team.

After watching the short film This Place which described how alcohol use and availability have changed in our culture in the past 40-50 years, the group broke into small groups and took part in some in-depth conversation. After the small group sessions, the entire group came together and shared their concerns and recommendations.

Wal Mart Manager Vera Kugler expressed interest in working with the schools to help target a younger audience than has been the focus of current prevention efforts. Bill Barnhart of Ti High School assured the group that the school district would continue to support prevention efforts. All participants weighed in with comments during the discussion and a consensus was reached that continued, community-wide efforts are still needed to combat this serious problem.

The meeting ended with 24 prize giveaways which included shirts, sweaters and 4 grand prizes of Wal Mart gift cards totaling $400.

Follow up contact with the participants is under way to gain feedback on the meeting and to begin planning further discussions. These meetings will be kept public and all will be welcome to participate.

For more information contact Randy Bevins at the Ticonderoga CMCA at 605-6705 or visit www.ticonderogacmca.webs.com.

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