July 27, 2019

Lee’s Summit CARES will increase its efforts to prevent and reduce alcohol use among local young people thanks to a federal grant award totaling close to $194,000 over the next four years. The nonprofit community coalition is one of just 22 organizations from throughout the nation to receive a Sober Truth on Preventing (STOP) Underage Drinking Act Grant through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Beginning in October, Lee’s Summit CARES will receive $48,509 annually through the highly-competitive federal program. The local grant, called A Community Approach to Underage Drinking, was written by Monica Meeks, Lee’s Summit CARES program coordinator. The local nonprofit coalition is the only Missouri organization earning a STOP Act Grant this year.

“Lee’s Summit CARES is pleased to receive funding to support prevention efforts targeting youth alcohol use,” said Rachel Segobia, Lee’s Summit CARES director. “One in five Lee’s Summit teens report using alcohol within the past 30 days, making it the No. 1 harmful substance used by local students. The results of this risky behavior can be devastating. In 2018, Missouri lost 116 of its young people to alcohol-attributable deaths. STOP Act funding will help us continue our 35-year tradition of building a healthy and safe community for Lee’s Summit youth.”

This is the first time Lee’s Summit CARES has received the nationally recognized grant, and organizations are only eligible for the funding on a one-time basis. The federal program restricts annual grant awards to $50,000 or less.

The STOP Act Grant targets young adults from 12 to 20 years old in communities throughout the United States. It encourages activities and programs designed to address community norms regarding use of alcohol by youth while reducing opportunities for underage drinking by limiting access to alcohol. In addition, the grant guidelines emphasize creating changes in underage drinking enforcement efforts, addressing penalties for underage use and reducing negative consequences — such as motor-vehicle accidents and sexual assaults — associated with underage drinking.

For more than three decades, Lee’s Summit CARES has worked to maintain a healthy and safe community for children, youth and families. The nonprofit coalition focuses on youth substance abuse prevention, parenting and character development. For more information, visit http://www.lscares.org/ or call (816) 347-3298. You may also follow Lee’s Summit CARES on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.