P.A.R.T.Y. continues to share important message
It only takes one moment to change a life. For 5,000 students this week, we’re hoping that moment happens in their seats instead of on the road.
With P.A.R.T.Y., sponsored by the ThedaCare Foundation, now in its 17th year (11th at the Center) more than 50,000 students have been affected by the message of the responsibility and consequences that can come with their decisions behind the wheel.
The Center is honored to serve as a gathering place for students from 35 local high schools to be educated and reminded of the dangers of distracted driving, and to assist in keeping the conversation going when it comes to safe behavior on the road.
A program that started based in drinking and driving has adapted and becomes more relevant each year as it discusses texting and distracted driving in addition to not wearing a seatbelt as risky behaviors to avoid.
P.A.R.T.Y. stands for Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth which the program works to do by creating a dramatic, realistic series of events that unfolds in front of the audience as police departments, fire departments, representatives from Theda Clark Medical Center and others play out a scene that happens far too often. The program isn’t meant to scare young drivers but instead to empower them to make positive choices every time they hit the road.
Ray Georgen, MD, trauma medical director at Theda Clark Medical Center, said teens and young adults aged 15 to 24 have the greatest incidence of trauma injury and death so it’s essential to get out the message about making good choices. Dr. Georgen said the message P.A.R.T.Y. shares with teens is vital.
“Everyone thinks ‘it can’t happen to me,’ but it can. It’s something we unfortunately see too often at the Trauma Center at Theda Clark,” he said. “We do this event every year and while some of the stories change – whether it’s drinking and driving or texting and driving – the message is the same: teens need to make good choices when they get behind the wheel.”