The Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) of Manalapan High School, Howell High School and Colts Neck High School held their annual Candlelight Vigil Against Drunk Driving in Manalapan High School’s auditorium on Wednesday, Dec. 12.
The SADD members took the time to inform people of the dangers of driving under the influence, which is at its height during the holiday season. The students read off alarming statistics about the high number of accidents involving drunk drivers and explained the importance of prevention education.
Tears flowed down people’s faces as one student read a poem about a girl who chose not to engage in underage drinking at a party and then was later hit and killed by a drunk driver as she left the party.
Members of SADD also posed as victims of drunk drivers in white make-up, each telling the story of what had happened to them and how their lives were taken away.
A video was co-produced by all SADD members from the three schools which shows how teen partying can lead to destructive decision making and the death of a friend.
The SADD students have made connections within the local community involving area restaurants and businesses in their cause. The Applebee’s in Manalapan and Howell have agreed to display SADD napkins with the phrase “Think and Drive, Don’t Drink and Drive”, SADD flyers, and will offer free soft drink beverage refills for designated drivers.
The SADD organization is also connected with the DCH Auto Group. Manalapan and Howell are partnered with Freehold Toyota and Colts Neck High School is partnered with Freehold BMW.
Howell High School dedicates the annual vigil to the memory of Johnny Bucowiec, a Howell High School student who died in a drunk driving crash in 2010. Manalapan High School dedicates this vigil to the memory of Carlee Wines, a Manalapan High School alum who was struck and killed by a drunk driver in her freshman year at the University of Connecticut in 2007. Fortunately, Colts Neck High School has not seen a death of a student or an alum as a result of drunk driving in recent years.