Cool Parents Serve Ice Cream…Not Alcohol


Cool Parents Serve Ice Cream…Not Alcohol. Be Cool.

That’s the message Riverhead CAP and its community partners are sending to parents once again this summer.

It’s that time of year when the day are long, and the lines at ice cream shops are longer! To clean up those inevitable ice cream drips, Riverhead CAP has donated 30,000 napkins to local ice cream stores. The napkins also send an important message about underage drinking. Each napkin says, “Cool Parents Serve Ice Cream…Not Alcohol. Be Cool.”

Longstanding Local Partnerships

Cynthia Redmond, Community Prevention Specialist at Riverhead CAP, applauded CAP’s longstanding partnership with local ice cream shops. These include Tweets Ice Cream Cafe, Snowflake Ice Cream Shoppe, Star Confectionery, Dari-Land, and Magic Fountain.  “We are fortunate to have local businesses that recognize the role they play in ensuring that young people make good choices,” she said. “Healthy communities are always good for business.”

“We’ve been doing this campaign for a few years now,” said Choudry Ali, owner of Magic Fountain Ice Cream. “Customers comment on the napkins and also like that we are trying to help kids.”

Anthony Meras of Star Confectionery loves the message and said, “We’re happy to be involved with something so important.”

Underage Drinking PREVALENCE

According to the 2018 Prevention Needs Assessment conducted by CAP, 48% of Riverhead 12th grade students who reported drinking alcohol said that they did so at the home of a friend with permission from the friend’s parents. In addition, 46% who reported drinking had permission to drink alcohol in their own home.

“The reality is that some parents have permissive attitudes about youth alcohol use which contributes to the high prevalence of underage drinking,” said Redmond. “Parents mistakenly believe that underage drinking is a rite of passage, that they can prevent issues by taking car keys away or that if it is happening under their supervision, it is safe. Underage drinking is always unsafe, unhealthy, and illegal.”

Redmond added that parents need to be aware of Suffolk County’s Social Host Law. The law states that adults who knowingly allow underage drinking in their home or on their property can be charged with a misdemeanor; penalties include fines up to $1,000 and/or one year in jail.

Risks due to the Pandemic

The COVID pandemic also exacerbates concerns about youth substance use in general. “Due to the pandemic, young people have more unstructured time and less supervision than ever before,” added Redmond. “This makes them more susceptible to risky behaviors like alcohol use. COVID has closed schools, limited activities, impacted the health and financial situation of families. It would be naïve to believe that there will be little impact on the wellbeing of our youth.” She stresses that “more than ever, parents need to be vigilant in talking to their children about the risks and consequence of substance use.” She hopes that the Cool Parents Campaign helps raise awareness about this.

Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe And Drug-free Youth

The mission of the Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth and the Riverhead Youth Coalition (RYC) is to engage collaborative partners in the planning, implementation and evaluation of strategies that prevent youth substance use. In 2013 and again in 2018, the coalition was awarded a 5-year Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Grant through the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

In 2019, the coalition was named Coalition of the Year by CADCA for achieving long-term outcomes in reducing underage drinking. The Cool Parents Campaign is part of a comprehensive set of strategies the coalition uses to achieve this.

For more information about the coalition, or to participate, please call Riverhead CAP at (631) 727-3722 or email Kelly Miloski at