The Erath County Community Coalition is an organization that meets once a month and focuses on promoting a drug-free lifestyle to the community — primarily targeting youth and their parents.

Denise Harroff, ECCC coordinator, sat down with the E-T to discuss what the organization does and how people and businesses can become members.

“We’re wanting to change different aspects in the community in order to make it a safer place for our youth and when I say safer place I mean more in regards to the social norms,” Harroff said. “Drug usage, the way that we view alcohol or our acceptance of kids taking more prescriptions than what they’re suppose to be taking. We want to bring awareness and educate people on a topic they may not know much about.”

The ECCC meets every second Monday of the month from 12-1 p.m. at the The Agave.

“At every meeting we talk about what we’ve done since the last meeting that worked — the things that were successful or that we tried or the things that are pending,” Harroff said. “And then we also talk about ideas for the future; short term and longterm.”

The ECCC also gives presentations at different organizations/businesses, surveys the community and attends events to spread awareness.

“We as a coalition have the best interest of the community and youth and we’re really just trying to help in any way that we can,” Harroff said. “If anyone has ideas they are free to attend a meeting or send me an email.”

ECCC also had a booth set up at the BBQ, Bands and Bottle Rockets Fourth of July Festival.

“We were giving out information about drunk driving, about providing alcohol to minors and we were also playing games with the kids,” Harroff said. “So we were kind of targeting parents, but also youth.”

The ECCC also attended the Dublin St. Patrick’s Day celebration and freshman seminars at Tarleton State University.

“The main three things we have to cover when it comes to presentations or information are underage drinking, prescription drug abuse or marijuana use,” Harroff said. “Statistics show you’re less likely to become dependent on alcohol if you wait until you're 21 to try it.”

Anyone in the community can be part of the coalition and sign up for a membership.

“We are hopeful for a $25 fee. That helps with things our grant doesn’t cover because we have so many rules and regulations on what we can and can’t buy,” Harroff said about signing up. “But it’s not necessary to become a member, but we do ask because it helps with our general fund.”

Businesses and organizations can also sign up as a staff and send a different representative to each meeting if they wish.

For more information contact Harroff at dharroff@starcouncil.org or call STAR Council at 254-965-5515.