CLIK vows to go on despite fund loss

By SUE RYAN

News staff writer

September 20, 2006

The Cascade Locks Interested in Kids (CLIK) coalition has been brainstorming ideas to replace its funding after receiving word that its federal grant was not renewed.

The $100,000 annual grant was the cornerstone of the program’s funding, paying for a full-time staff person and all of CLIK’s youth activities in town. While the city funds a separate summer recreation program, CLIK dollars also helped to support part of those activities.

“CLIK was there before we had a grant and CLIK will continue,” said chairman Karen Peck.

She said the program had become accustomed to having money for activities but that the group would remain whole.

The organization has been funded for the past five years at $100,000 each year. The program’s funding initially began under one federal agency but continued under the Dept. of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“Our five-year grant cycle was up and so we had to apply again as a new grantee,” said program coordinator Greg Hauer.

He said the Cascade Locks program was up against a lot of new applicants, especially from Louisiana and Mississippi this year.

Peck, Hauer, and Hood River Commission on Children and Families prevention coordinator Majia Yasui were among those who brainstormed ideas last Thursday on ways to deal with the impact of the lost grant.

As it currently stands, CLIK’s program coordinator Hauer will be able to continue until Dec. 31. He will work on transitioning the program as well as start the prevention program Operation Student Safety On the Move (OSSOM) at Cascade Locks school. The program’s recreation activities on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays will continue through the end of the year.

The group has planned an appeal of their grant decision. They are not counting on it too much as such reversals are fairly rare. Yasui offered some advice on how the program can reinvigorate itself for the future.

“Strategizing with the community is important,” she said.

Yasui said some of the Hood River program monies were available to Cascade Locks as part of their focus is on the entire county and not just Hood River.

“We work with youth and activities on outreach for Hispanic families,” she said. “And there are Hispanic families in Cascade Locks.”

There are also resources available through the Faith Connection program, which builds support for substance abuse programs through churches.

Yasui has asked U.S. Rep. Greg Walden R-Ore. for a letter of support to help as the program seeks other funding.

“I think that will carry some weight,” she said.

Part of the CLIK’s program this year has been a series of community forums on how to tackle the issue of underage drinking. The final session will be held as planned, at 5 p.m. on Sept. 25. The forum will be combined with the program’s annual “Eat Dinner With Your Family Night” and follows the meal.

Two committees will report on their activities during the summer. One committee worked on putting information out in the community about legal ramifications for underage drinking. The second committee, a parent patrol, checked on places in the community that are known to be hangouts for underage drinking.

Part of the information campaign included fliers put in places that sell alcohol in Cascade Locks as well as articles on Channel 23. That is the town’s information channel on its cable TV system.

The meal on Sept. 25 includes chicken, potatoes and lemonade for the menu. For more information, call Peck at (541) 374-8676.

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