Committee allocates funds to prevent alcohol problems

Alcohol safety can be helpful for a college town in preventing alcohol related accidents and deaths. (Olivia Bergmeier | Collegian Media Group)

The Special Alcohol Funding Committee of Manhattan had its first of three agency hearing nights Wednesday.

The committee, which helps to fund multiple organizations in Manhattan relating to alcohol abuse prevention, education and addiction is in the process of hearing from a series of groups requesting funding for 2019.

On Wednesday, the board heard from groups including the Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters and UFM Community Learning Center. Each group gave a synopsis of why their programs or organization was in alignment with the mission of the Special Alcohol Funding Committee.

Courtney Kramer, staff liaison for the committee, said the committee reviews about ten to 15 proposals in a year while focusing on their goal to address drug and alcohol issues in the community.

Trent Jones, executive director of Boys and Girls Club in Manhattan, was one of the many who attended the hearings with the hopes of convincing the committee to fund the programs of his organization. Jones, who said the Special Alcohol Committee has supported the Boys and Girls Club for close to ten years, has seen the impact the committee can have on Manhattan organizations first hand.

Keith Weber, senior in psychology and anthropology at Kansas State, is the co-chair of the committee.

“This committee makes a big difference for a lot of the people that are just trying to start up their nonprofit,” Weber said.

Kramer said that the experiences she has had working with the committee has been eye-opening for her.

“I’ve lived in Manhattan pretty much my whole life, and I had no idea before I took on this role what kind of need there was in the community for these kind of services,” Kramer said.

An additional meeting is scheduled for May 9.