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Diageo Partners with Apolo Anton Ohno to Teach Middle School Students to Say "No" to Underage Drinking

April 8, 2011


NORWALK, CT — April is Alcohol Awareness Month, and Diageo, the world’s leading spirits, wine and beer company, and industry leader in promoting responsible drinking, marked the occasion by congratulating Apolo Ohno, the most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian, for presenting The Century Council’s interactive ‘Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix’ program at the Cloonan Middle school in Stamford, Conn.

Guy Smith, Executive Vice President, Diageo North America, a founding member of The Century Council, said of the event, “Diageo employees are mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers too, and we never want kids to consume our products. We know that educating them about the dangers of underage drinking can help and that is why Diageo is proud to support Apolo Ohno in his work with The Century Council and the Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix initiative.”

The Century Council created an interactive, physical fitness activity that builds on the existing Ask, Listen, Learn program and encourages kids to “say ‘YES’ to a healthy lifestyle and ‘NO’ to underage drinking.” The activity, as well as a supporting website, encourages kids to live a healthy lifestyle. The website also provides parents with information and strategies to help jumpstart the conversation about the dangers of underage drinking.

“The decisions I made as a young teen heavily influenced where I am today. In fact, many of the decisions I’ve made off-the-ice have contributed the most to my success,” said Apolo Anton Ohno, winner of eight record-breaking Olympic medals in short-track speed skating. “I truly believe that healthy habits and positive choices start at childhood, which is why I’m proud to work with The Century Council to spread healthy messages, including “say no” to underage drinking, to kids across the country.”

Brandy Nannini of The Century Council added, “According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 17% of 12 to 14 year olds report they have consumed alcohol in the past month. Our Ask, Listen, Learn program has the potential to further reduce these numbers, as 80% of 12-14 year olds believe alcohol education has made a difference in the decision they have made regarding alcohol.”

Apolo Ohno will also appear at Diageo’s North American headquarters in Norwalk, Conn., later in the day to present ‘Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix’ once more to employees and their middle school-aged children.


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