Promise to never drink and drive

Promise to never drink and drive Each year over 17,000 people are killed and over 1,000,000 are critically injured in alcohol related traffic accidents. On the night of Jan. 29, 1998, my son Eric was being driven home by his high school sweetheart, Angee Rozeboom. Angee and Eric were juniors at Brandon Valley High School, they were very close and had been dating for eight months. They centered their attention on each other and went everywhere together. They were experiencing their first true love. The type of love that some people search for their entire lives. Little did they know how short lived their love for each other would be. Without warning and in less than a half a second their hopes, dreams, and lives were ended. They were crossing a bridge when they were hit head on by a two ton truck. The truck was driven by a 21 year old who had made a decision earlier to drink and drive. He was speeding, had a blood alcohol level of .18 (almost double the legal limit) and was completely out of control. He is now serving a 25 year sentence in jail as a result of his decision that evening to drink and drive.

It is because of this tragic accident that we developed "Project Tie One On." In an effort to save the lives and create community awareness. The families of Eric and Angee are reaching out to over 40,000 high school students with their story of how these two teens didn't have to die. With the help of many family volunteers, student groups, and school administrators, we are distributing bumper stickers, memory cards with pictures of Eric and Angee, and enough orange ribbons to tie on every car antenna we can find. The color orange has a very special meaning to us. Orange was Angee's favorite color. When Eric first decided he would like to date Angee he would bring her something orange every day. I can still remember him searching through our home looking for new things to give her that were orange.

We know that this time of year brings many temptations and celebrations. We are asking the students to keep these items displayed and to make a promise to themselves. A life long promise to never drink and drive. Along with a promise to yourself never to get into a vehicle when the driver has been drinking. We know that high school students have open minds and can really make the difference when it is something they believe in. Our hopes are that when you display these items it will set an example for your family and friends to be as responsible as you have been in deciding not to drink and drive.

Over the last few years smoking has become socially unacceptable. Society does not accept Joe Camel but accepts Budweiser Frogs. It clearly is a case of what we decide to accept. It is the same society that bans smoking in bars and restaurants and then allows their patrons to walk out drunk and get into their cars. I hope that society will change their cavalier attitude towards drinking and driving but sadly enough, only after many more high school sweethearts are killed. The change must start here! It's your decision! When you choose not to drink and drive you are making the decision to live.

In loving memory of Angee and Eric we thank you in advance for your cooperation. Have a safe and wonderful school year. God bless you all.

Sincerely,

The family and friends of Eric Scharenbroich and

Angela Rozeboom.

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