Beer-swilling frat boys won’t be crashing this hotel hospitality room. The 130th annual National Woman’s Christian Temperance Union Convention is underway in Des Moines. The temperance union was formed in the 1870s as women tried to close taverns and keep their sons and husbands from getting drunk. Today, the group’s creed is still the same — total abstinence from alcohol. National president Sarah Ward says “you’ll never become an alcoholic if you don’t take the first drink.” Ward says the mission has evolved to include total abstinence from alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs and she says they target the old and young alike. Ward says about 125 women from across the U.S. are gathering to share new information and inspiration in their efforts, along with 25 members of a men’s group, the American Council on Alcohol Problems. Ward says temperance may be defined as: moderation in all things healthful and total abstinence from all things harmful. She says some audiences aren’t receptive to the group’s message, but she keeps trying. The convention opened Wednesday and runs through Saturday at the Best Western Starlight Village. For more information on the organization, surf to: “www.wctu.org”.
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