2011-06-30 / Front Page

NOYL program to stop underaged drinking kicks off its second year in Babylon Village


For the second year, supporters of the Babylon Community Coalition’s program to keep children safe by engaging local merchants in a strategy to prevent underaged drinking were out spreading the message last week. The kickoff of the second campaign began at Village Hall where students, parents, educators and law enforcement officials gathered.
“It seems to have gone very well this year,” said Felice Niland, a school social worker, Babylon Village resident and proponent of the program called NOYL (Not on Your Life). “I think the merchants are getting the message that we want to work with them to keep our children safe. And we want to do that by being proactive, not reactive.”
The program looks to educate young people, parents and merchants about the dangers of underaged drinking, as well as about the law.
Joan Johanson, who went with a group of young people to several stores two weeks ago asking that they once again sign a contract saying they would work to ensure that no one under the legal age to drink is sold alcoholic beverages, called this year’s results event better than last year’s.
“Last year I think that some of the merchants were suspicious and felt that we were checking up on them,” said Johanson, a representative of SADD. “This year, since the program has become more publicized, they were less apprehensive and understood that we were not challenging them. We had some very good conversations; they understood that this was a partnership.”
“This is a very good program,” said Al Cirone, the new principal at Babylon Junior-Senior High School. “Anything that can help to reduce or eliminate the tragedies caused by underaged drinking is worthwhile.”
Once the youngsters had made their visits to every store and restaurant in the village, they were treated to pizza and snacks. “It has been a successful day,” said Niland.
One restauarant owner, though not in the Village of Babylon, said he thought the program was a good one. “Anything we can do to make it harder for kids to get their hands on alcohol is good,” said a representative of Ludlow Bistro on Deer Park Avenue in Deer Park. “When you have seen the accidents and deaths that are the result of underaged drinking, you realize what a tragedy it can become.”
Anyone who would like more information on NOYL or the BCC can contact Niland at 631-321-4699

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