2009 Bell Blazers Classic Big Win For Oregon Partnership

September 24, 2009

What an awesome golf tournament this week out at the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club, and once again Oregon Partnership is the big winner.

Proceeds from the Bell Blazer Classic – we’re talking Taco Bell and the Portland Trailblazers – go toward OP programs that help support drug prevention and prevent alcohol abuse. 

OP owes these outstanding community partners a huge amount of thanks.  We are so fortunate to have their support year after year.

Sunny skies, great golf, a super dinner that featured Blazers head coach Nate McMillan and a day worth of fun equaled the best Bell Blazer classic ever.

Oregon National Guard members comprized one of the 35 teams and several guardsmen served as volunteers.  When they were introduced at the dinner by OP President/CEO Judy Cushing, the soldiers (all of whom served in Iraq and Afghanistan) received multiple standing ovations. 

For the sponsors, the players, the celebrities who took part, and all the volunteers who make this event so successful – what a class bunch of folks you are.  It’s one of the highlites of the year for our organization.

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Alcohol Ads Out of Control – Even in Russia!

September 21, 2009

Oregon Partnership and other non-profits are warning that alcohol advertising is rampant (especially on TV) and the industry is always looking at ways to increase its reach to young people.   Maybe Russia has the right idea….according to this item from Join Together newsletter:

Alcohol advertising would be banned and sales limited by location and time of day under a plan endorsed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, CBC News reported Sept. 11.

 Medvedev called alcoholism in Russia a “national disaster” in unveiling plans that also include bans on sales of large containers of beer and prison sentences for those convicted of selling alcohol to youths under age 18.

 The new rules would go into effect before the end of the year. Experts say that more than half of all deaths in Russia are related to alcohol use.


Old Navy Stores Selling Beer T-Shirts to Young Customers

September 15, 2009

Old Navy just doesn’t seem to get it.  The stores continue to sell t-shirts promoting beer drinking with such slogans as “Beer Pressure: Worth Giving In To.”

With an under-21 clientele, Old Navy is making a joke out of its pledge of social responsibility, which it talks about on its website.

Oregon Partnership just sent a letter to Gap CEO Glenn Murphy (Gap is the parent company) and Old Navy President Tom Wyatt.

We’ve complained to these folks before without any results, but now we’re starting to get more complaints from Old Navy customers.   They know that with underage drinking practically an epidemic, promoting drinking to a young customer base is a rescipe for disaster.


Suicide Prevention Week Focuses on Awareness

September 9, 2009

With the backing of Oregon Partnership, The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners has proclaimed September 6 through September 12 as National Suicide Prevention Week in Multnomah County.

 Oregon Partnership President/CEO Judy Cushing said that suicide is the second leading cause of death among Oregonians ages 10-24 and for each death by suicide, there are 25 attempts.

“The majority of suicidal individuals display signals or clues,” Cushing read from the proclamation. “The risk of suicide is increased by more than 50% in depressed individuals and the risk of suicide in individuals with an alcohol problem is 50-70% higher than the general population.”

But as the county proclamation points out, “preventing suicide is possible through mental health and addiction treatment.”

“All of us should know and act on the signs,” added Cushing. “This is a community health problem, and we should all play a part in the solution. Awareness is key.”

Oregon Partnership operates the state’s Lifeline, a 24-hour suicide prevention line responding to callers in crisis and providing support, guidance and facilitating suicide rescue if necessary.

Because of the sour economy, the number of veterans returning home, and with OP’s Lifeline now serving as the Northwest regional backup center, Lifeline this past winter took more calls than OP’s alcohol and drug crisis line.

The number of Lifeline calls received by OP in July of 2009 totaled 1,894.  Calls from Multnomah County normally account for 40-50% of the statewide calls.

“Although we are accustomed to dealing with callers who have financial challenges,” explained OP crisis lines director, Leslie Storm, “the calls have become more alarming as people lost jobs, health insurance and faced losing their homes.”

OP staff and a 100 trained volunteers respond to more than 35,000 calls per year on its four crisis lines:

Lifeline – 800-273-TALK, 800-SUICIDE
Alcohol and Drug HelpLine – 800-923-HELP
YouthLine – 877-553-TEEN
Linea de Ayuda – 877-515-7848

Suicide Prevention Week includes World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10, 2009, which is recognized internationally and supported by the World Health Organization.
About Oregon Partnership:
Oregon Partnership is a statewide nonprofit that has worked to promote healthy kids and communities for well over a decade by raising awareness about drug and alcohol issues, providing drug prevention education in classrooms, and 24-hour crisis lines for people needing help. To learn more, visit www.orpartnership.org.


Just what we don’t need – more alcohol advertising

September 1, 2009

It’s not exactly a news flash.  But the advertising of alcohol is at an all-time bender.  Beer manufacturers are sponsoring concerts, festivals and sporting events at an historic rate. Tune into cable channels, and you’ll see commercials for hard liquor – something that just a few years ago, was unheard of.

And don’t think the TV networks and local stations are watching this phenomenon closely.  After years of a self-imposed ban, the networks are sure to take advantage of this growing acceptance of hard liquor advertising. And when that happens, you’ll see more alcohol ads on TV than car ads.

And now, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission says it will re-examine a rule to ban restaurants and bars from advertising lower priced drinks at happy hours.  The OLCC says the rules are outdated, pointing to an absence of what should be allowed on websites and elsewhere in the on-line universe.  And besides, the OLCC claims, it doesn’t have the resources to enforce such rules.

Oregon Partnership’s position is clear and the evidence bears it out:  If you allow more advertising of alcohol prices – which now is pretty much banned by the OLCC to prevent highly-advertised price wars – more people will abuse alcohol.  And underage drinkers – who are especially price-sensitive – will take notice and take action.

If the rules need to be brought into the 21st century, OP says lets update them. But to say that we need more alcohol advertising – and to relax restrictions on advertising prices – is unwise and dangerous.