History of the Chardon Community Action Team
In February 1999, a meeting was held at Chardon Middle School to talk about a teen party in Chardon that had tragic consequences. Almost two hundred parents, educators, law enforcement and local government officials were present. It was determined that the community needed to come together and find ways to prevent this from happening again. The result was the re-birth of the Chardon Community Action Team (CCAT) a non-profit organization, originally formed in the early 1980’s, when drug use among our youth was at record highs. The Coalition’s mission was to educate youth and adults about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. The group also began seeking alternative activities for the youth in the Chardon community. Since 1999, the CCAT has provided programs and activities that support its mission and vision of a healthy and drug free Chardon.
Youth oriented activities, sponsored by the CCAT, include youth band concerts, pool parties, ski competitions, and dances. Building a sand volleyball court was one of CCAT’s first projects and a skateboard park was CCAT’s most ambitious. The combined fundraising efforts of youth and adults, as well as many hours of donated service, resulted in Chardon’s skateboard park dedicated in 2002. Both the sand volleyball court and skateboard park are now part of the City of Chardon’s Recreational facilities.
The annual Classic Car and Motorcycle Show held in August is the biggest event hosted by CCAT. There is something for every member of the family with cars, motorcycles, music, children’s games and food.
To increase the perception of the harmful effects of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use abuse and dependency CCAT has offered many evening programs with both local and national presenters. CCAT also supports state and national awareness campaigns: Red Ribbon Week, Alcohol Awareness Month, The Great American Smoke Out and the Parents Who Host Lose the Most, Don’t Be a Party to Teenage Drinking, and Coalition to Change Ohio’s Social Host Laws. Newspaper articles and the Parent Toolbox are other ways CCAT uses to educate the community.
CCAT organized the very successful Alcohol Clerk and Server Training Committee or ASET committee. Representatives from most of the law enforcement agencies in Geauga County created training on the laws regarding underage purchase of alcohol, detecting false ID’s and the health dangers of youth drinking. Compliance checks are held to enforce the laws against selling to underage youth.
CCAT adopted Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, building blocks for youth to reach their full potential. Assets represent everyday wisdom about positive experiences and characteristics for young people. Assets are powerful influences in adolescent development – both protecting young people from difficult problem behaviors and in promoting positive attitudes and behaviors. There is a link to Search Institute’s website in CCAT’s link section.
CCAT networks with other alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention organizations. These include the Lake Geauga Red Ribbon Week Campaign Committee, the Geauga County Red Ribbon Committee, the Lake Geauga Tobacco Prevention Coalition, the Drug Free Action Alliance, and CADCA.
CCAT receives financial support through the Geauga County Board of Mental Health and Recovery Services, the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services and donations. CCAT is a tax-exempt organization.