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Substance-abuse prevention programs get boost

by James Fisher

STAFF WRITER

Alcohol and tobacco prevention programs in several North Central West Virginia counties got a little boost last week when United Summit Center officials awarded block-grant funding.

Ten programs in Harrison, Braxton, Doddridge, Gilmer and Lewis counties received funding, said Carol Moscar of the Summit Center. Programs were eligible to receive up to $1,000.

Summit Center has been awarding the mini-grants for several years, she said. The mini-grant project is funded by the Federal Block Grant for the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse through the Division on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, she said, and is administered through community mental health centers.

"It seems like it's growing every year," Moscar said of the number of groups that apply for the min-grant funds. "The amounts get smaller for each group because there are more groups out there and they are doing good things. If we can't fund them completely, we try to at least pick out something we can help them with or fund some of the program."

Mini-grants were awarded to six Harrison County groups and one group each in Gilmer, Doddridge, Lewis and Braxton counties, Moscar said.

"We actually had another group from Lewis County who unfortunately didn't get their application in time because their director got ill," she said. "But we have been able to make another connection with them, so they will be eligible for funding next year. We will be meeting their needs this year in other ways."

While the Summit Center does receive funding requests from the same groups year after year, Moscar said the intention of the funding is to provide initial money for programs to get off the ground.

"What we prefer is to have the money used as seed money so the group themselves can pick up and carry on," she said. "However, some of the groups that request funding continue to do good work and without that funding they couldn't continue."

Groups that received mini-grants were:

n Gilmer County 4-H, $775 for T-shirts and pamphlets for an anti-drug overnighter for youth aged 16-21 and teen leader training for TATU (Teens Against Tobacco Use).

n Harrison Teens, part of Harrison County Family Resource Network, $775 for annual Teen Splash event.

n Lewis Lites, part of Lewis County 4-H, $510 for tobacco prevention program.

n Robert C. Byrd High School, $510 for Prom Promise anti-drinking campaign.

n Harrison County TATU, $440 for pamphlets and the development of a youth task force.

n Doddridge County Starting Points, part of Doddridge County Family Resource Network, $460 for training in BABES (Beginning Alcohol and Addiction Basic Education Studies), a puppet program that teaches young children various life and decision-making skills.

n Braxton County HSTA (Health Sciences and Technology Academy), $510 for tobacco prevention program.

n Harrison County MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), $220 for a television/videocassette recorder combination to show movies in schools.

n South Harrison SHAPE (South Harrison Association for Peer Education), $400 for alcohol prevention program.

n Sardis Community Council, $400 for television/videocassette recorder combination.

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