Sticker shock’ initiative targets underage drinking in Evanston

Sammy Caiola

Adults and teens joined forces Friday at the second annual Evanston Sticker Shock Campaign, an effort of the Evanston Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, to warn adults about the dangers of buying alcohol for minors.

ESAP Coalition is a coalition of leaders from community organizations who come together for various projects regarding substance abuse. The McGaw YMCA, the Baha’i Temple and the City of Evanston provided volunteers for Friday’s event.

About 35 coalition members and Evanston youth met at the YMCA Friday before splitting into three groups and visiting participating stores, Coalition Coordinator Maura Mooney said. ESAP Coalition asked owners’ permission to post the sticker either on the establishment’s door or on the alcoholic products themselves. Only a few establishments declined the invitation to participate, Mooney said. The stickers were placed in 12 stores.

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission introduced the event as a statewide campaign four years ago. The commission distributes stickers reading “Warning: Providing Alcohol to Minors is Illegal, Unhealthy & Unacceptable” to community leaders, who then post them inside liquor retail locations.

Though the campaign targets parents, Mooney said the initiative also benefits local youth.

“By taking an active role, instead of just seeing this on a bulletin somewhere, they’re thinking about the implications of drinking, of having their parents purchase alcohol. It’s a unique opportunity,” Mooney said.

A few of the teen volunteers were from Brillianteen, a theater program at the YMCA for high school juniors and seniors. Shundrice Tucker , coordinator of Brillianteen, said the event was worth the time and effort.

“Evanston cares a lot about its youth and its reputation as a great city,” Tucker said. “We need to be much more knowledgeable and careful about what we allow your youth to get involved with and make sure they understand the consequences when it comes to drugs and alcohol.”

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