Paul Farris leads underage drinking fight

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A retired businessman from Wilson is hoping the recent appointment to the helm of a state association will help further his goal of stopping underage drinking.

Paul Farris was elected Tuesday to serve as the president of the N.C. Association of ABC Boards for the coming year. Farris, who has been involved with the Wilson County ABC Board since 2010, will continue to serve as the local chairman in addition to his new role with the state association.

“I got involved to try to make a difference with my main objective of fighting underage drinking in the state,” he said. “I believe that if we can save one life, we can make a big difference.”

This mission is supported with the sale of every bottle of alcohol since a portion of the proceeds is distributed to the city, county and state. Each year, the Wilson County ABC Board spends more than $20,000 to raise awareness and support programs in through Wilson County Schools, the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and Wilson County 4-H.

“It is an honor to serve as president,” Farris said. “I feel very blessed to be able to represent all of the ABC boards across the state. I look forward to the challenges and to try to make an even bigger difference.”

The association represents more than 140 county and municipal ABC boards.

“We as an association try to work together to exchange ideas because someone in Mecklenburg County might come up with a better way to educate the public about the dangers of underage drinking that we could implement statewide,” Farris said. “The association represents all the boards to make sure everyone is running the stores as well as possible, getting projects done and getting the message out about Alcohol Beverage Control.”

Farris’ role is in a volunteer capacity.

“I am very fortunate to have a wonderful, wonderful family. That has been the greatest gift I’ve been given and why I give back,” he said. “I’ve been given so much that I like to give my time back to the community and the ABC Board is just one way I do that.”

bhandgraaf@wilsontimes.com | 265-7821