Havre Daily News
Several agencies in Havre and Great Falls will collaborate to present solutions to the problem of underage drinking in Havre. A recent study shows that about four out of five kids here drink before they reach the age of 17.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Hi-Line has teamed up with Gateway Recovery Center, the Havre Police Department, Great Falls Police Department, Havre City Court and Havre Public Schools to address the issue of underage drinking in the Havre community. The forum is in the Havre Middle School Auditorium at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
A panel of nine people will each present information to members of the audience, event organizer Sara Mauer of the Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line said last week.
A 2005 survey put together by the Boys & Girls Club and the HELP Committee showed that 78.5 percent of Havre children had used alcohol before the age of 17. The same survey said that 51 percent of high school students reported drinking within the last month.
The statistics showed a need for prevention in the community, the report said.
The forum is part of a similar effort hosted by hundreds of communities nationwide. Speakers, Mauer said, will discuss what individuals and communities can do to prevent underage drinking.
“This is a nationwide thing,” Mauer said. “(Groups) are trying to get people to start talking before the kids start drinking.”
Panelists include: Havre City Judge Joyce Perszyk; Great Falls Police officers Cory Reeves and Steve Pretat; Collette Stinar and Roger Kurtis of Gateway Recovery Center in Great Falls; Naomi Bowers of Altacare and Havre Public Schools; and Keri Burstock, a Havre High student. They will present topics to kids, parents and the community about how to prevent underage drinking in the community, Mauer said.
The event is sponsored by the Drug Free Communities Coalition in collaboration with the federal Interagency Coordinating Committee for the Prevention of Underage Drinking.