Meeting will focus on underage drinking

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Cassville Community 2000 Coalition will host a community Town Hall meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 31 in the Cassville High School commons area. "Start Talking Before They Start Drinking" is the name of event, which will feature a panel of experts plus a question and answer session. The purpose of the meeting is to raise awareness on the issue of underage drinking.

"We want to identify how underage drinking affects the community and brainstorm possible solutions," said Kati Rose, project director of the Community 2000 Coalition SPF SIG grant. "We hope the town hall meeting is well attended, and we're planning for a big crowd."

The meeting is open to all area residents. In particular, organizers hope to attract parents, teachers, law enforcement officials, business owners, elected officials and community leaders to the event.

Panelists who are scheduled to participate include: Joe Hodgins with Missouri Liquor Control; Lt. Dana Kammerlohr, Barry County DARE officer; Nancy Foulke with Missouri Probation and Parole; Dr. Heidi Henderson, an addiction and substance abuse expert and professor at the Crowder College Watley Center; and Trooper Les Wilson with the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

In addition to listening to the panel, audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions and also will have access to a large amount of educational materials dealing with the topic of underage drinking and strategies to combat the problem. An interesting and informative video presentation will also be included in the evening's activities.

The meeting is being funded through a federal Town Hall Meeting Grant. Timmarie Hamilton, with Community Partnerships of the Ozarks, will serve as meeting facilitator.

"We're asking everyone to mark their calendars and plan to attend this vital meeting," added Rose.

For more information about the Town Hall Meeting, contact Kati Rose, project director, at 826-4008.

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