The Ville Platte Rotary Club today (Tuesday) heard from Lorenzo Richard who represents the Krewe de Evangeline Coalition. The non profit community mission statement is to prevent the onset and reduce the progression of underage drinking. Richard said “Alcohol is a drug and is the #1 drug used by young people. More young people drink alcohol than smoke cigarettes or use illegal drugs.” He shared statistics from the 2016 Caring Communities Youth Survey using surveys from our parish school students. In every category, Evangeline Parish students in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 nearly doubled the state and national average of alcohol usage. Richard also gave information about teen drinking. He said “Teens tend to mix alcohol with energy drinks which is even more dangerous than drinking the alcohol by itself. The coalition is planning to have a “Youth Blast” event Friday Sept. 13 from 8-12 noon at the Mamou Recreation Center for all 7th graders in Evangeline Parish Schools. Some 467 students will be bused in from all schools for this special program featuring guest speakers and music. Club President Nicole Wenger announced that plans are being made to begin a second Rotary Youth group in Ville Platte: this one at Ville Platte High. The RYLLA student group has been in existence for several years and has been heavily involved in community events.