ACROSS AMERICA CELEBRATE SADDS 25th BIRTHDAY AND RALLY SUPPORT
IN THEIR LOCAL COMMUNITIES
Chapters Plan Special Event to Reflect on the Past and Raise Awareness
About the Serious Challenges Still Facing Teens Today
MA (October 30, 2006) For more than a quarter-century, SADD (Students
Against Destructive Decisions) has been empowering students to make
a difference in the lives of their peers, saving thousands of young
lives along the way. "SADD Turns 25: Lighting the Way," a
nationwide event, offers SADD students and their schools and communities
an opportunity to celebrate this success and light the way for the next
"SADD is a constant reminder for teens to lead a safe, healthy
lifestyle and to help our friends make the right choices, too,"
said Daniel Vocelle of Vero Beach, Florida, SADD National Student of
the Year. "We are students standing up to make a difference."
During the week of October 30 through November 3, SADD chapters will
hold themed activities focusing on key issues such as underage drinking,
other drug use, and safe driving. Many chapters are also holding special
ceremonies on November 2, "SADD Lantern Night." SADD students
will bring together community members, including law enforcement officers,
teachers, parents, and local elected officials.
"Its a call to action to address the serious challenges facing
young people," Vocelle added. To make the event even more memorable
and symbolic, homemade lanterns will be lit, signifying hope and remembrance
and their commitment to keep youth safe. Governors and mayors across
the country have issued SADD Day proclamations.
"SADDs twenty-fifth birthday is an opportunity to both celebrate
and to reflect: to celebrate the accomplishments of hundreds of thousands
of teens and adults over a quarter-century and to reflect on the work
that remains to be done," stated Penny Wells, president and executive
director of SADD. "Through consistent, thoughtful and creative
contributions by young people empowered to help their friends, we will
continue to make strides in saving teen lives."
One of the largest SADD Birthday celebrations will be held in Vermont.
On November 2, Wells will join youth from across Vermont for a press
conference and lantern ceremony on the steps of the State House in Montpelier.
Students representing almost every SADD chapter in the state will attend.
The History of SADD
SADD was founded at Wayland High School in Wayland, Massachusetts, in
the fall of 1981 following the tragic deaths of two students in separate
alcohol-related crashes that happened less than two weeks apart. Hockey
coach Bob Anastas and a group of students decided to name their group
Students Against Driving Drunk to capture the responsibility teens themselves
had for their behavior. "If the problem is mine, then the solution
lies with me" became their popular slogan. Realizing that parents
needed to be more involved with their teens, a contract called the "Contract
for Life" was developed and continues to be widely used today.
Making a Difference
This unique student-led effort turned into a national movement. In SADDs
first two years, 6,000 high schools across the country created chapters.
Even more important, the number of teen deaths from drunk driving started
dropping. In 1981, about half the states had drinking ages under 21.
"Drunk" driving was the number-one killer of teens
more than 100 teens per week were killed in alcohol-related crashes.
Over the next 10 years, through the efforts of SADD and similar organizations,
the number of teen deaths dropped by almost 60 percent.
In 1997, in response to feedback from students themselves, SADD expanded
its mission and adopted a new name, Students Against Destructive Decisions.
Today, there are more than 10,000 chapters in middle schools, high schools,
and colleges. While reducing impaired driving remains a focus, SADD
is dedicated to preventing all behaviors and attitudes that are harmful
to young people, including underage drinking, other drug use, and teen
violence and suicide.
More information about SADD is available at www.sadd.org. To find a
SADD Birthday event planned in your area, contact Jennifer Baylis at
1-877-SADD-INC or email@example.com.
a pdf file.