ach year, the challenges facing our nation's youth increase, as does our need to provide them with positive solutions, direction, and hope.
In recognition of this growing demand, the Beer Institute Community Assistance Fund (BICAF) was created in 1989 to support non-profit organizations involved in preventing youth substance abuse.
BICAF is on example of the brewers' commitment to substance abuse prevention among American youth in communities nationwide. Over the years, BICAF has made hundreds of grants to local organizations dedicated to helping young people and their families make responsible decisions, particularly with regard to alcohol abuse. These programs have had a positive impact.
BICAF's mission is to reduce, and eventually eliminate, substance abuse, especially among the nation's youngest citizens. We believe this program is truly a wise investment in the community and our future.
The brewing industry has dedicated hundreds of millions of dollars in the past decade towards research, education, prevention and responsible drinking programs. Introducing alcohol awareness curricula in schools, broadcasting public service announcements against drunk driving and underage drinking, and funding medical research are examples of the many ways we invest in America, at the national, state, and community level.
As past efforts have proven, the commitment of every citizen -- from community, government and industry leaders, to parents, families and youth -- is critical to finding meaningful solutions to problems faced by our youth in neighborhoods across the country.
Through BICAF and other brewer-sponsored programs, we are doing our part. Together, we can -- and will -- make a difference.
Raymond J. McGrath