Teenagers warn adults of buying minors alcohol

Seventh-grader Gabi Westrich applies a sticker Friday to a cartoon of beer at JR’s Liquor Store, warning adults not to provide alcoholic beverages to minors. It was part of a joint Tonganoxie High School Students Against Drunk Driving and Transforming Tonganoxie Together’s Sticker Shock campaign, which also placed stickers at Mary’s Liquor Store. Enlarge photo

December 20, 2011, 2:41 p.m. Updated: 20 December 2011, 2:41 p.m.

As a junior at Tonganoxie High School, Molly Welsh has heard of parties where alcohol would be available for minors.

Project Sticker Shock in Tonganoxie

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Tonganoxie Middle and High school students take a message warning adults against providing alcoholic beverages to minors with stickers placed on beer and wine coolers sold at J.R. and Mary's retail liquor stores. Enlarge video

“I get invited to go,” she said. “We tell the freshmen not to go.”

On Friday, Welsh and 10 other Tonganoxie middle- and high-school students took a similar message to those supplying the alcohol when they and parents placed warning stickers on alcoholic beverages for sale at JR’s and Mary’s retail liquor stores.

Allison Thompson, a 15-year-old Tonganoxie High School sophomore, came up with the idea for what was called Project Sticker Shock with inspiration from a national campaign that hasn’t had much traction in Kansas.

The goal is to go to the source behind teen drinking, Thompson said, and the stickers were being placed in advance of Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties.

“Adults should be the responsible ones, but a lot of times they are the ones who provide alcohol to minors,” she said. “The drinking age is 21 for a reason.”

The stickers placed on beer and wine coolers, which might appeal to teenagers, warn: “Stop. Parents who host, lose the most! It is illegal to provide alcohol to minors!”

The sticker also identifies the two organizations behind the campaign: the Tonganoxie High School Students Against Drunk Drivers group and Transforming Tonganoxie Together.

Thompson said T-3 provided about $200 for 1,000 stickers, which would be evenly distributed in the two participating stores.

Helping place the stickers Friday were sixth-grader Shailea­­-- Freemyer, seventh-graders Rachel Maurer and Gabi Westrich, eighth-grader Monica Maurer, freshman Kourtni Freemyer, sophomore Shelby Fatherly and juniors Welsh and Wyatt Maurer.

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