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State of Illinois “sticks ‘em up” during
Alcohol Awareness Month

DATE: April 2, 2009
CONTACT: Ted Penesis (

CHICAGO—To kickoff Alcohol Awareness Month, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) partnered with a variety of state and local organizations on April 2nd to increase public awareness on the dangers of underage drinking.

Entitled Project Sticker Shock, this new educational effort is designed to focus attention on the consequences of underage drinking through statewide participation. Thousands of teenagers, parents, law enforcement personnel, local elected officials, and other community leaders were out in force in nearly fifty counties on April 2nd—Sticker Shock Day—posting stickers, window decals, posters, and signs to remind communities that providing alcohol to minors is illegal, unhealthy, and unacceptable.

“Getting this message out prior to the prom and graduation season can save lives,” says ILCC Executive Director Lainie Krozel, noting that National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows an elevated rate of alcohol-related traffic fatalities at this time of year. “With these grim facts in mind, we are asking all of our liquor licensees to post these materials during the entire month of April as a final reminder of the legal consequences of providing alcohol to minors.”

In addition to the numerous local groups fanning out across Illinois, a wide-ranging partnership of statewide organizations—from both the liquor industry and prevention field—signed on to this effort. “As our liquor-selling members are surely aware, family and friends are the primary source of alcohol for minor drinking.” says Bill Fleishli, executive vice president of the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association and the Illinois Association of Convenience Stores. “We are proud and excited to support this effort.”

Adds ILCC Chairman Irving J. Koppel: “Having the support of the industry is critical if we are to be successful in our effort to combat underage drinking, but all Illinois residents can make a difference by obeying the law and not providing alcohol to minors. This is an excellent opportunity to educate communities—and, in particular, our parents. By working together, we can truly create safer and healthier communities for our youth.”

Several corporate chains also posted Project Sticker Shock materials in all their Illinois stores this April. “We have always taken the issue of underage drinking seriously,” says David F. Vite, president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. “We can all play a role in preventing an underage drinking tragedy from occurring.”

Those in the prevention field agree. “We commend Illinois Governor Pat Quinn for promoting the Project Sticker Shock program as part of his support for Alcohol Awareness Month,” said Marti Belluschi, vice president of the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM). “This program creates an exciting opportunity for Illinois’ young people to work together with adults and officials to prevent underage alcohol abuse. Additionally, the teen participants will set a positive example for their peers.”

Which is a primary goal of Sticker Shock Day partner Operation Snowball, a statewide group founded on the belief that youth and adults can make responsible decisions when provided with factual information. “This activity sends an important message we can all learn from,” says Mary Jo Peavy, Operation Snowball’s statewide coordinator. “One of the unique aspects of this program is the fact that our teens are teaching the adults how to act responsibly.”

Parent Sharon Brown echoes this sentiment. “As a parent, it is comforting to know we have teens who can educate those parents who tolerate underage drinking in their home,” says Brown, the mother of a teenager. “Too often, parents condone their child’s alcohol use by saying ‘at least they weren’t doing illegal drugs,’ even though underage drinking is illegal.”

This attitude is all too common in today’s society, according to teen Sticker Shock Day participants. “One of the biggest problems I see is older people buying for younger people,” says Kaila Errett, a sophomore at Springfield Southeast High School. “This is one of the main reasons why I think Sticker Shock is such a great program!”

Adds fellow Southeast High student, junior Melissa Randolph: “Prevention is a powerful tool at our school. Anything that keeps teens away from alcohol, and stops people from buying for minors is a good idea.”

Law enforcement officials from throughout the state served as chaperones for the youth on Sticker Shock Day. “This day presents us with an opportunity to change the perception that providing alcohol to minors is an acceptable practice,” says Henry County Sheriff Gib Cady, president of the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association.

Notes Executive Director Stacey Puckett of the Illinois Association of Police Chiefs: “Many of our members jumped on board right away and contacted their local schools to participate. They believe as I do that Project Sticker Shock is a good example of how a community can work together to solve problems.”

Partners in prevention

In addition to the numerous local groups throughout the state who have committed to participating in the April 2nd Sticker Shock Day, the following statewide organizations—from both the industry and prevention fields—have signed on as partners with the Illinois Liquor Control Commission:

  • Operation Snowball;
  • Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois;
  • Wine & Spirits Distributors of Illinois;
  • Illinois Retail Merchants Association;
  • Illinois Restaurant Association;
  • Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association;
  • Illinois Licensed Beverage Association;
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD);
  • Illinois Municipal League;
  • Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM);
  • Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD);
  • Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police;
  • Illinois Sheriffs' Association;
  • Illinois Drug Education Alliance (IDEA);
  • Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association;
  • Illinois Food Retailers Association;
  • Illinois Association of Convenience Stores.

"By bringing all stakeholders into the fold, we sharply increase our effectiveness in combating society's underage drinking problem," says ILCC Education Manager Ted Penesis. “Through this combined effort, all parties are able to recognize their role in fighting this serious issue.”

This philosophy is heartily endorsed by Paul Jenkins, executive director of the Wine & Spirits Distributors of Illinois. “We will never solve this issue with blinders on,” he says. “Not only is it important that everybody’s viewpoints are respected, but that their opinions are actually heard.”

Materials for Sticker Shock Day were created through the ILCC’s public education arm—the Don’t Be Sorry program—which is partially funded through a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Traffic Safety. For more information about this public awareness campaign and to order the FREE Project Sticker Shock materials, please visit

"Project Sticker Shock Day" activities

Following is an alphabetical listing of local Sticker Shock partners by county or community area (unless indicated otherwise, all below events held on April 2, 2009):

  • Algonquin. Eliseo Saldivar from Jacobs High School will supervise over thirty teens as they post Sticker Shock materials in area liquor stores.
  • Alorton. Deputy Chief Steve Romanik will distribute Sticker Shock materials to the town’s liquor establishments.
  • Alton. Jennifer Weller from the Alton School District is coordinating this city’s campaign, which will be held on April 7 from 1-3pm.
  • Aurora. The City of Aurora’s Ann McBride assembled several Sticker Shock teams consisting of Aurora Police Cadets, East Aurora Snowball members, Youth Court jurors at 501 College Ave. at 10am prior to being chaperoned by Aurora Police Officers during visits to over thirty Aurora liquor establishments.
  • Bartonville. Officer Colleen Adams of the Bartonville Police Department is leading this town’s Sticker Shock effort.
  • Belvidere. Coordinating this effort is Belvidere Police Sgt. Martin.
  • Boone County. Boone County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Krieger will distribute Sticker Shock Day materials to stores that sell alcohol and the county’s schools.
  • Broadview. Broadview Police Chief Raymond K. Pelletier will coordinate Sticker Shock activities in Broadview.
  • Brown County. Mental Health Centers of Western Illinois’ Linda Tobias will lead Operation Snowball students to visits in county liquor establishments.
  • Bureau County. Claudia Bachman from North Central Behavioral Health Systems will lead groups of teens and law enforcement to various county liquor establishments, including those in the City of Princeton at 3:30pm.
  • Carroll County. Teens, led by Freddie Preston and Carol Geary from the Carroll County Substance Education Coalition (CCSEC), will visit thirteen stores in six towns.
  • Champaign. The Champaign-Urbana Campus Community Coalition on Alcohol and Other Drugs, in conjunction with the Champaign Police Department, will coordinate a Sticker Shock event in late April.
  • Chicago. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart will recognize Sticker Shock Day by visiting with students at Brother Rice High School as part of his department’s alcohol awareness efforts. Additionally, Northside College Preparatory School students visited nearly forty Chicago liquor-selling establishments.
  • Christian County. Leading the effort in this county is Sheriff Robert E. Kindermann.
  • Concord. Triopia High School students, led by Instructor Cheri Madson, will post materials in area stores.
  • Crystal Lake. Officer Sean McGrath of the Crystal Lake Police Department will chaperone over a dozen teens as they visit Crystal Lake liquor establishments.
  • Cullom. Faculty Member Todd Bean will lead nearly thirty Tri-Point High School students on their to area liquor stores.
  • Decatur. Vivian Goodman of the Decatur Community Partnership will lead dozens of volunteers—including the Macon County Sheriff’s Office—as they post Sticker Shock Day materials on a tour of Decatur’s liquor-selling establishments.
  • Diamond. Mayor Mike Ramme will distribute Sticker Shock Day materials to all Village of Diamond liquor licensee holders.
  • DuPage County. DuPage County Sheriff John Zaruba’s Community Resource Unit will be coordinating Sticker Shock Day efforts in several communities.
  • East Dundee. Chief Terry A. Mee of the East Dundee Police Department is coordinating this community’s Sticker Shock Day activities.
  • El Paso area. Shannon Ramsey and Dee Parkhouse will lead a large group of volunteers as they visit various area establishments, including Freedom Oil (601 W. Main St, El Paso) at 3:45pm.
  • Erie. Cindy Weaver of the Erie High School will chaperone her Operation Snowball students during their store visits.
  • Fairbury. Prairie Central High School’s Alan Dunahee is leading this town’s effort.
  • Flanagan. Sticker Shock material distribution will be handled by Rick Trachsel and Amanda Gordon from the Flanagan School District.
  • Forreston. Mike Boomgarden, the Forreston Chief of Police, will distribute Sticker Shock materials to all Forreston liquor licensees.
  • Fox Lake area. Lt. Jeff Norris of the Fox Lake Police will lead a group of Grant Community High School National Honor Society students as they visit 15 area businesses, including the Rollins Mobil Gas/Convenience store (500 E. Rollins Road, Ingleside) at 3pm.
  • Franklin Park. Chief Thomas A. Wolfe and Franklin Park Police staff are assembling several dozen youths for their Sticker Shock Day event, including District 212 high school students and Law Enforcement Explorer Post 95.
  • Geneva. Mary Heinrich of the Greater Fox River Valley chapter of Operation Snowball and Sgt. Tim Baker of the Geneva Police Department are leading the effort in this community.
  • Grundy County. Paula Goodwin will lead a large group of her No Tolerance Task Force teens to approximately thirty liquor establishment in Grundy County and the surrounding area.
  • Gurnee. At 1pm, Gurnee Mayor Kristi Kovarik, the Police Department’s Tom Agos, and a group of teens will depart the Gurnee Police Station (100 North O'Plaine Road) for visits to various liquor establishments.
  • Hancock County. Mental Health Centers of Western Illinois staffers will chaperones teens as they make their rounds to county liquor establishments.
  • Henry County. Doug Hampton from the Illinois Coalition for Community Services and Sheriff Gib Cady will lead a countywide effort on Sticker Shock Day.
  • Herscher. Coordinating this effort is Steve Kelley, the head of Herscher High School’s SADD chapter.
  • Jacksonville. Jan McGovern from the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired will lead several of her students on visits to Jacksonville liquor stores.
  • Jo Daviess County. Hollie Shultz from the FHN Family Counseling Center is leading youth volunteers during their Sticker Shock while on a countywide tour of liquor-selling establishments.
  • Joliet. Debbie Burroughs and twenty of her Joliet Township High School students will be out in force “stickering” Joliet liquor establishments.
  • Kankakee. Deputy Chief Larry Regnier of the Kankakee Police Department will coordinate this effort.
  • Kendall County. Education Service Network’s Patti Dore organized this effort, which will feature a large group of students chaperoned by Sheriff Richard Randall and several of his Kendall County deputies.
  • Knox County. Bridgeway Prevention Services’ Debby Jo Metsker and Knox County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition’s Cheryl Geitner are coordinating Sticker Shock Day activities throughout the county, including a 1pm alcohol sellers/servers training class at Northgate Lanes (1576 N. Henderson St.) in Galesburg.
  • Lake Forest. Stacy Vermylen from the LEAD/SpeakUp Prevention Coalition is coordinating the effort here.
  • Lebanon area. Assistant Professor Karan Onstott will organize student activities on the McKendree University campus and surrounding area.
  • Marshall. Led by Cherise Murphy from the Human Resource Center, a contingent of over twenty teens will visit Clark County liquor-selling stores, including the Wal-Mart (108 Kyden Dr.) in Marshall.
  • Mason County. With Jason Blanchette from Chestnut Health Systems coordinating the effort, Havana High School Operation Snowball teens will “sticker” Havana’s Waterworth's Corner Liquor (402 Laurel Ave.) at 3:30pm, while the Teen Advisory Group will visit the Country General (206 N. Adams St.) in Manito, also at 3:30pm.
  • McHenry County. Organized by Lori Baker and Emily Kostner from the Family Service & Community Mental Health Center, students from various McHenry County schools will participate in Sticker Shock Day activities.
  • Montgomery. Coordinating this effort is Detective Sgt. Greg Sullivan of the Montgomery Police Department.
  • Mt. Prospect. Mayor Irvana Wilks and Police Chief John Dahlberg will serve as chaperones while area youths during their rounds in a Sticker Shock Day effort organized by Officer Anthony Addante.
  • Mundelein. Sgt. Mark Parrish of the Mundelein Police Department is coordinating this town’s Sticker Shock Day effort.
  • Northlake. Sticker Shock Day activities are being organized by the Northlake Police Department.
  • Oak Brook. Laura Millsaps of the Oak Brook Police Department is coordinating this effort.
  • Oswego. Oswego High School students will hit their town’s establishments on April 15.
  • Paris. Cherise Murphy of the Human Resource Center of Edgar and Clark Counties will organize an effort featuring teens and law enforcement personnel on the morning of April 7.
  • Patoka. Patoka School’s Carla Jourdan-Heern will lead the school’s teens on their Sticker Shock Day rounds.
  • Pike County. Peggy Johns from the Mental Health Centers of Western Illinois will chaperone fifteen of her Operation Snowball teens to various establishment in Pike County, including the County Market (1071 W. Washington) in Pittsfield, IL at 6:15pm.
  • Pleasant Plains area. Rosiland Dennis will lead twenty of her Pleasant Plains High School Operation Snowball students to sixteen Springfield area establishments on Sunday, April 5.
  • Pontiac. Officer Shawa Gilliam and Pontiac School District staff will oversee an effort where over a dozen teens visit all Pontiac liquor establishments.
  • Putnam County. Dawn Conerton from the Bureau/Putnam County Health Department is coordinating Putnam County’s effort as teens and law enforcement visit various county liquor establishments, beginning at 3:30pm.
  • Quincy. Pamela Foster of Recovery Resources will lead her Operation Snowball teens on their rounds in Quincy.
  • Richton Park. Youth will post Sticker Shock materials in Richton Park thanks to an effort organized by Deputy Chief Carl Mormann of the Richton Park Police Department.
  • Rockford. Sergeant Michael Spelman of the Rockford Police will lead his School Liaison Unit officers on a month-long outreach effort with students.
  • Sherman. Sherman Police Department Officer Phil Brown and over ten volunteers will place materials in area stores.
  • Somonauk. Sr. Officer Todd Mikkelson from the Somonauk Police Department and six teens will visit area liquor establishments.
  • Springfield. Over twenty Southeast High School students—led by Serena Craner and local law enforcement—will visit various Springfield area stores. The Springfield Liquor Commission will also distribute materials to liquor licensees.
  • Sterling/Rock Falls area. Over one hundred community volunteers from Whiteside County’s prevention, law enforcement, and school communities—led by Judy Randall of Whiteside County Health Department—will be blanketing the area with Project Sticker Shock materials.
  • Streator area. Streator Mayor Ray Schmidt, the Key Club, and Student Council are coordinating the Project Sticker Shock event for this area.
  • Tinley Park. Commander Rick Bruno of the Tinley Park Police Department is leading the Sticker Shock effort in this community.
  • Trenton. Chief Mike Jones will coordinate his community’s Sticker Shock Day efforts.
  • Troy. Troy area businesses will receive the full Sticker Shock treatment thanks to the staff at Triad School District (Matt Gessford), area prevention staff (Megan Edmondson), and the local chamber of commerce (Dawn Mushill).
  • Vernon Hills. Vernon Hills Police Department’s William Price is coordinating Sticker Shock Day efforts here.
  • Washington. On April 19 at 6pm, Washington Police Department Officer Jim Fussner will lead volunteers in distributing Sticker Shock materials as a kickoff to their pre-prom safety efforts.
  • Westmont. In charge of organizing this city-wide effort was Sgt. James Schlicher of the Westmont Police Department.
  • Winnebago County. Deputy Chief Scott Meyers of the Winnebago County Sheriff's Police is working with the department’s Community Policing Unit to place Sticker Shock Day materials throughout the county.
  • Winnetka. Sticker Shock Day activities will be led by Officer Amanda Smaha of the Winnetka Police Department.
  • Woodford County. Jeanne Brady from the Tazwood Mental Health Center is leading the effort to all county liquor establishments, including the Casey’s General Stores in Roanoke (411 W. Front St.) and Minonk (115 E. 5th St.), both at 3:45pm.
  • Woodstock. Dee Lewke of Centegra Specialty Hospital - South Street will be helping with the distribution of materials in the Woodstock area.
  • Zion. Scott Peckler of Zion-Benton Township High School will lead his students on Sticker Shock Day rounds.

Please click here for more details about the ILCC's Don't Be Sorry underage drinking awareness program