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Whole Foods joins PARTY

By From page B4 | February 15, 2012

Whole Foods Market in Folsom recently named Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth, or PARTY, a “Nickels for Non-Profits” recipient.

Whole Foods customers can choose to donate their nickel-per-bag BYOB (bring your own bag) credit to PARTY through April 16.

PARTY began 25 years ago in Canada and was launched in Folsom three years ago. It has since spread to surrounding high schools with programs either active or scheduled for Oak Ridge, Folsom, Vista, Roseville, Granite Bay and El Dorado high schools this year.

Program Director Johanna Cunningham explained the program’s strategy to Village Life in 2010. “Our goal is to reach them before they start driving,” she said. “At this age, their decision-making skills are still developing.

“It’s about teaching kids that they’re not invincible, and that when they take risks they’re often putting others in danger as well,” she added.

Local PARTY leader Kathy Hurd was struck down with her friend and fellow Bodacious Bike Babe Kathi Sturgeon on El Dorado Hills Boulevard in June 2008, and accident that nearly killed them both. The driver was a young girl under the influence of alcohol.

With the advent of text messaging, the program has embraced distracted driving as well as driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Distracted driving is no longer just a teen problem, said Hurd. “Many adults are driving distracted or drowsy and are now learning about the dangers from their teens.”

In a typical PARTY program local police and paramedics reenact accident trauma, either through a graphic slide show or with an actual smashed vehicle. Accident victims like Hurd are on hand to explain how their lives have been altered forever by someone’s poor choices.

“A shortage of funding is all that keeps us from starting more programs,” said Hurd, who asked Village Life readers to visit the website, partyprogramca.com, and consider volunteering or making a donation. Several fundraisers are planned for the summer.

“Donations make our roads safer for all who share them whether they walk, run, cycle, drive or are passengers,” said Hurd.

Mike Roberts


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