Friday, April 24, 2015

Alcohol Awareness Month

By: Sarah Frey

Did you know that teens who start drinking before the age of fifteen are five times more likely to develop alcohol dependence or abuse later in life than those who begin drinking at or after the legal age of 21? The Youth Leadership Council of Van Buren is spreading awareness on the use of alcohol to fellow students during the month of April, as April is alcohol awareness month.

Students at Van Buren High School have or will have participated in many informative yet interactive activities during this month to promote awareness about alcohol. The first activity was the placing of cups in a fence near the track for bystanders and athletes to see during the meet, spelling a phrase about alcohol awareness. The group has also participated in Sticker Shock at local businesses, it is one of the most popular activities we do as a group. With permission of the business and distributor we place labels on packages of alcohol stating the penalties for providing alcohol to minors. Members have also helped with a scavenger hunt during lunch where students search for facts around the school related to alcohol use, and the winners receive a prize. Students from the group also took the time to create an eye catching display with facts and photos about alcohol use and prevention in the school lobby. Lastly, some members will be going to the elementary school and participating in peer teaching. They will be going to a sixth grade class to teach them about alcohol awareness month and recruit them for YLC next year.

Alcohol awareness month is a busy month for the Youth Leadership Council, but we do our very best to provide knowledge to the community and influence our peers to make the choice to be above the influence.

For more information on YLC and their activities or alcohol safety please contact the SAFE Coalition at  or call at 319-293-6412. 


Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition Supports After Prom Parties:

April 25th
12:00 A.M. – 5:00 A.M.
Harmony High School 
Activities will include: Hypnotist, Bungee Run, Obstacle Course, Jousting,  Movies 
& Just Dance Competition!
Prizes will include: TV, Camera, Beats by Dr. Dre, Tablets, Blue Ray Player & Fun City Gift Cards!
For more info contact: Sue Rice – 319-217-1048 or Kathleen Miller – 319-217-8775
Van Buren
April 25th
12:00 A.M. – 3:30 A.M.
Roberts Memorial Building
Activities will include: Hypnotist, Mechanical Bull, Poker, Butter Bean Boxing, Basketball Shoot, 
Photo Booth & Ping Pong Tournament!
Prizes will include: Mini-Fridge, TV, Microwave & 2 Laptop Computers!
For more info contact: Becky Kobelt – 641-799-7759 or

Keeping Prom Night Safe

In the glow of graduation, college acceptance, and teen romance, even the most sensible kids take risks they shouldn't on prom night. Here’s what you need to know to keep your teenager safe:

Make sure your child and, ideally, you know their date. If it’s a fix-up, ask them to meet beforehand in a public space to confirm that they seem okay. Remind them that it’s best not to be alone with anyone they don’t know well.
For many teenagers, the prom itself is just one stop in a night that begins with dinner and may end the next day after brunch. Make sure you know your child’s agenda and approve of every stop.
While you’re sure to earn some eye-rolling, it’s worth asking your teenager to rehearse how they’d react if offered alcohol or drugs.
While you’re at it, reiterate that sex isn't something to be undertaken impulsively or lightly. Prom lasts one night; pregnancy and STD s don’t.
The biggest danger teens face on prom night is auto accidents, either because the driver has been drinking or is simply distracted by a carload of exuberant pals.
According to the National Highway Travel Safety Administration when someone drinks and drives, they are not only more likely to get into an accident; the accident is more likely to be severe, and the passenger is less likely to wear a seat-belt. If you can’t afford a limo, tell your child you will be available at all hours to take their phone call and pick them and their friends up – no questions asked.
Don’t let your child out the door without a cell phone (yours if they do not have one).

If your kids complain that you’re taking all the fun out of a night that comes once in a lifetime, remind them that it’s your job to make sure that lifetime is as long as possible. The fun is their responsibility.

For more information on talking to your teens and keeping them safe please contact the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition at 319-293-6412 or  You can also visit the coalition’s website at

*Adapted from an article by Hannah Boyd titled “Keeping Prom Night Safe”.

Adventureland Tickets

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition has discounted tickets for Adventureland.  The cost per ticket is $20.  The tickets are only good for the Substance Free Weekends at Adventureland on April 25th, April 26th, May 2nd or May 3rd

This Substance Free event is a great way to spend a fun filled day with family and friends.  You may purchase these tickets for your entire family while supplies last.  Admission will not be available at this price at Adventureland during this event.  If you are interested in going to Adventureland on any of these dates please contact the SAFE Coalition by phone at 319-293-6412 or by email at  

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Iowa Partnership for Success Funds

The SAFE Coalition received information in February regarding the receipt of Iowa Partnership for Success Funds (IPFS). These funds will help the coalition to continue to address the issue of underage and binge drinking in Van Buren County.
Kris Rankin has taken the position of the grant coordinator and Heidi Bainbridge will serve as the supervisor for this project. The grant began in February of 2015 and will last through September of 2019, as funds are available.

The first phase of this project is to dig in and do an assessment of the community. The coalition will be using the next few months to gather data to better help them understand the problem of underage drinking and binge drinking in Van Buren County.

The coalition will also be working to build their capacity of community volunteers to assist in these initiatives. It is important that the coalition has key players from all sectors of the community to help address this issue. Coalition members may be reaching out to you to garner your support and encourage your involvement in this partnership. If you are interested in helping with the work of this grant you may contact the SAFE Coalition at any time or attend one of the SAFE Coalition meetings that are held the third Tuesday of the month at 9:00 am at the VBHS’s Community Services Center Conference Room. 

There are a variety of trainings required for this project, Kris, Heidi and Coalition members will be participating in these opportunities to learn more about the process and ensure we are implementing the most effective strategies for our community.

For more information on the Partnership for Success funds you may contact the coalition office at 319-293-6412 or via email at