News

Institute for Prevention’s DART Coalition Collaborates with Brick Township Officials and BlueClaws to Address Parents
Regarding Underage Drinking

Town Hall Meeting

Brick, NJ – “I have a 16-year-old son in high school and want to learn strategies to protect him from the dangers of underage drinking,” said Maria Valdez, a resident of Brick pictured above, left to right, with Robert Goldschlag, Director, DART, Barnabas Health Institute for Prevention; her 10-year-old daughter, Sally Tamayo; Nils Bergquist, Chief, Brick Township Police Department; and Dennis Filippone, Principal, Brick Township High School, at the DART Town Hall Meeting held Tuesday, August 30, at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood.

 

Brick, NJ -- The aftermath of Hurricane Irene did not prevent Brick Township parents from traveling to FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood on the evening of Tuesday, August 30, to attend the Barnabas Health Institute for Prevention’s DART (Developing Alcohol Responsibility Together) Town Hall Meeting addressing the issue of underage drinking. In addition to an informative program, attendees received a complimentary ball-park style dinner and free tickets to the evening’s BlueClaws game.

DART is a Community Coalition aimed at reducing alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes among 18-25 year olds in Brick, Lakewood and Toms River. The Coalition, which develops environmental strategies to achieve its goal, is comprised of more than 60 Ocean County community leaders including law enforcement and government officials, educators, business owners, substance abuse professionals, clergy, students and other youth. Funding is provided by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services through the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF-SIG). 

During the 30-minute presentation, program speakers Nils Bergquist, Chief of Police, Brick Township; Dennis Filippone, Principal, Brick Township High School; and Robert Goldschlag, Director, DART, provided parents with tools to protect children from alcohol abuse and offered information regarding the Brick Township ordinance prohibiting underage drinking on private property.

“During my first seven years serving as principal of Brick High School, I witnessed five deaths due to drugs or alcohol,” explained Mr. Filippone, who opened the program and commended the parents in attendance for taking a step to protect youth by committing themselves to education.

Chief Berquist added that “Kids dying in car crashes are not dying because they are drinking in bars. They are drinking in private homes.” An issue that has recently been addressed by Brick Township in the adoption of its Private Property Ordinance which states that it is unlawful for any person under the legal age to, without legal authority, knowingly possess or knowingly consume an alcoholic beverage on private property. 

The message of the evening was that communication is crucial when attempting to protect children from alcohol use and abuse. “Be concerned with what your children are doing,” said Mr. Goldschlag. “Ask who, what, where, when and why. Set clear rules and expectations regarding alcohol use and consistently enforce those rules. Perhaps most important, stay connected. Studies show that kids who participate in a family dinner with their parents, several times a week, are less likely to participate in risky behaviors.”

The Brick Township Town Hall is one of several DART events that have been hosted at the home of the BlueClaws. “DART is an important organization to both the BlueClaws and the greater Ocean County community,” said Geoff Brown, BlueClaws General Manager, in regards to the collaboration. “We are excited to aid in their mission and look forward to working with the group moving forward.”

DART is a Community Coalition aimed at reducing alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes among 18-25 year olds in Brick, Lakewood and Toms River. The Coalition, which develops environmental strategies to achieve its goal, is comprised of more than 60 Ocean County community leaders including law enforcement and government officials, educators, business owners, substance abuse professionals, clergy, students and other youth. Funding is provided by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services through the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF-SIG).

For more information about DART or Barnabas Health Institute for Prevention, please visit www.instituteforprevention.com.

Date: September 14, 2011

Contact – Public Relations
ltortorello@barnabashealth.org



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