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POSTED: April 27, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Photo by S. Hundley/

SADD members stand with the totaled car outside RHHS.

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SADD makes statement about safety

The scenery around Richmond Hill High’s front lawn has changed in the past week. The Students Against Destructive Decisions or S.A.D.D. club have placed a wrecked Honda Civic out in front of the school in hopes of raising drunk driver awareness and preventing students from falling victim to this terribly dangerous crime. I spoke with Mrs. Lee Ergle, head of Richmond Hill’s S.A.D.D. club, concerning how she hopes the car will influence students and the car campaign as a whole.

Q: Why did S.A.D.D. put the Civic out front?

A: As an awareness for Prom, that they need to make good decisions that night.

Q: Has S.A.D.D. ever done this before?

A: It’s been a long time. There was a wrecked car out there, and I think it was probably eight or nine years ago. I brought a car over because I think I was in charge of prom that year.

Q: Has drunk driving become more of an issue lately, and because of that you’ve brought out the car again?

A: No, it just seems to be an issue nationally. There is something that I got from Tara Jennings, she’s talked to the S.A.D.D. club a couple of times, and she sent me an e-mail. According to the information she sent, drunk driving incidents are on the rise. The past five or six years, there have been more kids killed. Also another thing in that e-mail she sent me said if a young person is drinking now, under the age of 21, then they are five times more likely to be in a drinking related crash when they are an adult.

Q: What effect do you hope this will have on the students?

A: That they’ll think more about their decisions, and that they won’t ride with someone who’s been drinking.

Q: Do you think the car will be successful in making an impact?

A: Yeah, because a lot of kids have been around it and it really gets their attention.

Q: How did S.A.D.D. come to get the car?

A: Well the kids talked about what they wanted to do, and I asked them where we could get a wrecked car. They knew Rhonda and Mark Gordon, they own Gordon’s wrecker service. I know her, she used to live in Redbird Creek, and my sons grew up with her son. So they brought the car up here free of charge, they put up the caution tape. And this is what’s really neat about this: We’re going to offer this Sign and Drive contract and this tells you want they’ll do. You just present that (Gordon’s Wrecker Service business) card and they’ll tow your car for free if you’ve been drinking that night. They’re going to hire two drivers, and they’ll take everybody home that’s in your car. We’re going to have a table Thursday and Friday during lunch, and we’re going to get people to sign these. We’re going to get two hundred cards printed by Gordon’s Wrecker Service.

Q: What other campaigns are S.A.D.D. participating in to combat drunk driving?

A: Probably not much other than Red Ribbon Week. There were a lot of materials given out by the army; a lot of free toys. I don’t know, since this is my first year to be the S.A.D.D. sponsor. We’re going to set up a table during CATS PRIDE Night (on Thursday) for S.A.D.D. club.

 

 

- by Stephen Hundley

Dinner is an essential part of prom, so here's how one student picked a spot

An essential part of tonight’s RHHS prom is dinner. Students generally have to make reservations fairly far in advance in order to go to one of the many upscale restaurants in downtown Savannah. But for one student and his dinner group, competition from other prom goers wasn’t really an issue. RHHS senior Brandon Keen has made plans to have dinner on the balcony of Richmond Hill’s City Hall building. I was able to speak with Brandon about how he came up with such a unique place, and how he managed to make his plan a reality.

Q: Where are you and your group eating before prom?

A: Well I decided that I wanted to do something special for the people in our prom group, and we decided that we are going to have it on the balcony at City Hall in Richmond Hill. And it’s going to be really pretty, and we’re going to set it all up.

Q: How did you make that happen?

A: I made it happen because I know several people that know the mayor. Ben [Botelho] knows the mayor; he actually has a key to Richmond Hill. Mr. Carpenter knows the mayor. He helped us out; he made a couple of phone calls. And basically we were just really nice people and they were like "Yeah you can use it!" So that’s how we did it.

Q: Who’s catering the food?

A: Well I know this guy that’s a chef at the golf course, and he’s going to make all the high class stuff and preparations and whatnot. But we’re just making little special things like Ramen Noodles, "Like, hehe, that’s funny they made that." We’re setting it all out. And I have to grill the steaks, but he’s marinating them and whatnot.

Q: How many people are in your group?

A: I started out ten, but then we wanted another group so we have twelve. But then someone else was like, "Hey I need a place to eat," So we have fourteen total. We’re going to have seven couple tables out on the balcony.

Q: To your knowledge has anyone ever done this before?

A: Now, I’m not sure. I don’t think anyone has. I know that there’s been a wedding on the balcony, but I don’t think there’s ever been a dinner out there. I think we’re the first.

Q: How did you come up with such an interesting place?

A: I’m creative. I don’t know, we just wanted to do something special. Mr. Carpenter helped us out, it was kinda his idea at first. But we just kind of exploded, and we wanted something cool, so that’s what we did.

 

- by Stephen Hundley

GET A LIMO

When plans are being made for prom, one of the first – and often most expensive – decisions to be made is whether or not to rent a limousine. Obviously the cons to ordering such a swanky mode of transportation are clear: the price. Depending on the type of limo and the number of occupants prices can range anywhere from $75 to upwards of $100 per person. However, I feel that the pro’s to getting a limo are often overlooked. Getting a limo not only insures that prom goers get to their destination in style, but also in safety. It makes most parents feel better about sending their kids out on the roads on one of the busiest nights of the year, when they’ll be driving late, if they know a trained, professional driver is behind the wheel. Hiring a driver also ensures that kids can’t go anywhere they’re not supposed to, as the drivers have predetermined destinations.

So I feel that, while expensive, renting a limo is the way to go. If not for the grandeur then for the safety perks alone, which with today’s rise in drunk driving are hard to put a price on.

- by Stephen Hundley

 

 

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