Letter to Editor: Grad Nite won't make headlines

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Doing the right thing is rarely exciting, doesn’t generate headlines and, as I tell my children, if doing the right thing was easy, everyone would do it. Sober Grad Night is an event that is the right thing to do, and making sure it happens every year isn’t easy, but I hate to consider what would have happened if former Rocklin High School parent Tammy O’Brien along with the RHS staff did not work tirelessly year after year to make sure that our graduating students have a safe place to celebrate on graduation night. Maybe these two facts can help you tabulate the headlines she has helped us to avoid. National statistics indicate that more teenage alcohol-related accidents and fatalities occur on high school graduation night than at any other time of the year. According to the Center for Disease Control from 2001-2005, 525 people under the age of 21 died from alcohol-related causes. Sometimes you don’t fully understand the importance of something until you do the math, and even then you might need a healthy dose of imagination. So consider this: in the past five years RHS sober grad night has given 2,000 kids a safe place to celebrate during one of the most dangerous nights of their lives. Now imagine what could have happened if Tammy O’Brien, and the other concerned citizens working at the other high schools in our region, did not offer a safe place for these kids to gather! Thousands of kids every year without such a place to celebrate, may end up on the streets, thereby putting themselves and others at risk, and suffering the results of being put at risk by others. This year there are two people leading the sober grad effort. Cathy Smith and Jan Van Roekel have stepped up and will be looking to the Rocklin community for support. I am sure the good people of Rocklin, and the local business community will give generously. Now that the torch has been passed on to these two ladies, I would like to be one of many who says thank you to Tammy for the headlines we have not seen. Thanks for your hard work in the face of the occasional stiff winds and thank you, Rocklin, for bringing parents like Cathy Smith, Jan Van Roekel, and Tammy O’Brien together! Douglas G. Edwards Sr, President, Rocklin High School Boosters Club