About Us

How, why and when we got started

After attending a statewide conference on underage drinking, a group representing concerned parent organizations and law enforcement agencies got together in November 1999 to share ideas for change. The Cobb Underage Drinking Task Force was formed in March 2000, to address underage drinking conditions in Cobb County by providing a comprehensive approach to reducing underage drinking through the collaborative efforts of its partners and members.

Our history

1999 

  • Originally formed as Cobb Underage Drinking Task Force, after attending a statewide conference on underage drinking, a small group of concerned parents and law enforcement agencies got together to share ideas for addressing underage drinking in Cobb County

2000 

  • Awarded Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Project Grant, from U.S. Office Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and Governor’s Office of Children and Youth Coordinating Council – held through 2005 with Cobb County Government Sheriff’s Office serving as ‘fiscal agent’
  • Received “Leader in Collaboration” Award, from Cobb Community Collaborative

2001 

  • Received “Exemplary New Public Safety Program” Award, from Cobb Chamber of Commerce

2002 

  • Received “Outstanding Community Leadership in Coalition Efforts to Reduce Underage Drinking”, from Georgia Alcohol Policy Partnership

2003 

  • Featured in OJJDP’s Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Success Stories, Cobb County, Georgia: Area Governments Amend Local Ordinances to Include Mandatory Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service Workshop for Licensees (see link)

2004 

  • Cobb area business alcohol sale to minor compliance rates increased 40 percent; from 40 percent compliance rate reported in 2000 to 80 percent compliance rate reported in 2005

2005 

  • Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Project Grant ended

2006

  • Grant funding ceased, local institutional partners provided staff and in-kind support to all volunteer led effort, which continued at reduced capacity until new funds secured

2008

  • Secured new funding;
    • Developed Cobb Safe Neighborhoods Safe Homes Campaign with support from Justice Assistance Grant, U.S. Department of Justice, received by Cobb Community Collaborative – through 2011
    • Managed Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking (STOP Act) Grant, from U. S. Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration SAMHSA, received by Cobb Community Collaborative – through 2013
    • Implemented ‘Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol’ SAMHSA Model Program, as part of Grant to Reduce Alcohol Abuse, from U.S. Department of Education received by Cobb County School District – through 2012

2009 

  • Name changed to Cobb Alcohol Taskforce, to better fit with growing interest for expanding scope of work to include youth binge drinking, particularly college-age youth 18-25
  • Cobb Parks and Recreation Department adopted written polices/protocols for control of alcohol sales during concert events at Mable House Amphitheatre
  • Cobb County Board of Commissioners upheld current local alcohol code, prohibiting 16 & 17 year olds from obtaining alcohol work permits
  • Cobb County School District Board of Education adopted new J-policy to strengthen consequences for students participating in extracurricular activities who violate the district’s alcohol policy

2010 

  • Cobb State Court adopted policy requiring diversion candidates for minor in possession cases, to submit in writing the name of person/adult who furnished alcohol
  • Cobb Safe Neighborhoods Safe Homes Campaign goes viral on YouTube
  • Cathy Finck, executive director, received Prevention Pioneer Award, Georgia Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases

2011 

  • Incorporated and received IRS designation as 501(c)3 non-profit public charity
  • Partnered with Georgia Strategic Prevention System (GASPS) Alcohol Initiative Grant, from GA Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, received by Cobb County School District – through 2015
  • City of Austell adopted Social Host Ordinance

2012

  • Received “Health Hero” Award, from Cobb Chamber of Commerce
  • Featured in SAMHSA news re: Town Hall Meetings success story “From Tiny Acorns Mighty Oak Trees Grow: The Cobb Alcohol Taskforce Experience” (see link)
  • Cobb County adopted Social Host Ordinance