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NORTHEAST VALLEY : Alcohol Awareness Topic of Contest

Fifteen students could see their artwork plastered on billboards throughout the Northeast Valley as part of an anti-drinking campaign sponsored by the Pacoima and San Fernando Alcohol Coalitions.

Students at public schools in San Fernando, Sylmar and Pacoima, along with students at Los Angeles Mission College, have been asked to contribute artwork depicting the theme “Alcohol is a Drug” for a contest to be judged next month.

The winning entries will be posted on billboards in the three communities this summer. Deadline for entries is April 29.

Pacoima, San Fernando and Sylmar are saturated with billboards advertising alcohol, with many specifically targeting youth, said Xavier Flores of Pueblo Y Salud, a San Fernando-based alcohol-awareness group.

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Flores said the contest is an opportunity to provide an alternative message.

“Students are often bombarded with mixed messages regarding alcohol consumption,” he said. “While one message is given in the schools, another message is given in our communities.”

Entries will be judged for elementary, middle and high school as well as college categories.

In addition to having their work posted on billboards, winners will receive up to $300.

Special certificates will be given to all who participate.

Funding is being sought from public and private agencies, Flores said.

The coalitions include the Pacoima Coordinating Council, San Fernando Coordinating Council, San Fernando Gardens Tenants Assn. Pueblo Y Salud Inc., San Fernando Valley Partnership, Friday Night Live and others.

Judging for the contest by area residents, the announcement of finalists and a recognition ceremony for the winners will all take place in May.

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