Press Release - January 12, 2011

Contact:  Kelly Bachman
302-633-2501 or 302-299-9791

Underage Drinking Video Earns Delaware’s Kids Department Platinum Ava Award

Video is part of Delaware’s Step Up campaign urging parents to play a more active role in preventing underage drinking.

WILMINGTON – The Texas-based International Ava Awards, which recognizes outstanding achievements in audio and visual art programs and materials, announced a Platinum Award for the video on underage drinking produced by Delaware’s Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families. There were over 1,700 audio-visual competition entries in 2010.

The winning, six-minute video, “Re-Think Teens and Drink” delivers a compelling argument that parents are largely in denial about teenage drinking and offers helpful techniques on how to stay involved in teens’ lives and protect them from the lure of alcohol. The video is part of Delaware’s recently launched Step Up campaign which urges parents – and all adults – to play a more active role in preventing underage drinking.

“Forty percent of eighth graders in Delaware drank alcohol last year,” said Vivian Rapposelli, cabinet secretary of the Delaware Children’s Department. “We cannot ignore this. Our children are our future – our responsibility– we have to do all we can to protect them from harmful behaviors. The video, as with the entire Step Up campaign, informs parents of some of the simple steps we can take to protect our kids from underage drinking.”

The video was written, cast and co-directed by Delaware-based PR firm GillespieHall in collaboration with prevention specialist Yvonne Bunch and the Children’s Department’s prevention team.  The video is targeted at adults and parents with teenage children. 

“Parents today are bombarded with weak, feel good messages that make little impact,” says Secretary Rapposelli.  “This video challenges and enlightens its audience - by using a collection of real life vignettes informing parents what their role is – to protect.”   GillespieHall partner, Neal Hall M.D. agrees, “We kept the message honest and real. The testimonial from a teacher, who tragically lost a son because he had been drinking at a party, is life changing for anyone who views it.”

The video can be viewed on: , click “View Video” on home page.

Ava Awards is sponsored and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP). The international organization consists of several thousand production, marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, and free-lance professionals. AMCP administers recognition programs; provides judges and rewards outstanding achievement and service to the profession.  Judges are industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry.

The Delaware Children’s Department provides services to children who have been abused, neglected, abandoned, dependent, or have mental health or substance abuse problems, and/or have been adjudicated delinquent by the Courts. For more information, please visit us online at For more on the Step Up Campaign, go to

Caption: Participants in the award winning video included: L- teen Clellie Merchant (Hockessin), Yvonne Bunch (Prevention Program Manager, Children’s Department), Master Corporal Dan F McColgan, teen Philip Paverd (Greenville), teen Alan Brothwood (Newark)