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Alcohol prevention campaign gears up for prom

These billboards are on the east and west sides of Park Rapids along Highway 34. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

By Anna Erickson

Hubbard in Prevention is stepping up the campaign to reduce alcohol use among youth and change the perception among the community.

HIP coalition members are gearing up for spring and will be helping spread positive messages at prom and graduation to the Park Rapids, Nevis and Laporte school district areas.

The initiative started after Hubbard County received a five-year, $1 million grant through the Minnesota Department of Human Services to address alcohol consumption by youth.

A parent survey was sent out and data will be back in early May for the group to analyze. HIP will also have a strategic planning session to determine the next step in communicating with the public about alcohol use.

Parents are a key component to reducing alcohol consumption among youth and HIP will be working on a plan to keep parents involved in the process.

The coalition is working in each of the following population sectors: youth, parents, under-represented populations, business community, media, school, youth-serving organizations, law enforcement agencies, justice/corrections, religious or fraternal organizations, civic and volunteer groups, healthcare professionals, government and other organizations involved in reducing alcohol abuse.

Law enforcement is gearing up for more patrol time this spring. HIP is providing funding for extra patrol during prom and graduation weekends.

Compliance checks will also be done at Hubbard County businesses that sell alcohol.

Parents and the community as a whole are reminded of the county’s Social Host ordinance, which prohibits anyone from hosting an event where alcohol is present and being possessed or consumed by youth under 21 years old. The ordinances outlines penalties for anyone hosting such an event.

Beth Heltunen, grant coordinator, can answer questions about HIP and give more information about how to become involved in the initiative. Heltunen can be reached at 237-5462 or

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561