Ocean City Prepares For "Play It Safe" - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Ocean City Prepares For "Play It Safe"

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OCEAN CITY, Md. - Beach Week might be more than half a year away, but the Ocean City Drug and Alcohol Prevention Committee is already getting ready for the nearly 10,000 high school graduates that will descend on the beach town in June.

Play It Safe was created in the 1980's after consecutive years of drug and alcohol related deaths hit the beach town and for the past 23 years, the group has hosted a month of free events for recent high school graduates who visit Ocean City to celebrate their accomplishments and have one last hurrah before they go off to college.  

Donna Greenwood, Chairman of the Ocean City Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Committee said "this is our 24th year coming up this June and what we do is try to encourage the kids to have fun without the use of alcohol and other drugs."

With activities like kayaking, paint ball, bowling, and karaoke, Play It Safe can cost approximately $40,000 per year to run.  The town of Ocean City does grant the group $7,500 dollars to help pay for free bus passes during the week, but the rest is paid for by donations and fundraisers like Monday's dinner and auction Halls Restaurant.

The Hall family has been hosting this fundraiser for the past 13 years, and according to co-owner Joe Hall, "100% of the proceeds go to the group so they can put on the 60 plus events for the graduates." 

Young volunteers at the restaurant are also looking forward to reaping the benefits of Play It Safe.  Worcester Prep senior, Emily Sayan said "I've heard all the good events they have and I'd rather do that than be drinking or drunk on the boardwalk."

Play It Safe has been recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police for keeping students safe, and the program has been copied by cities across the country and in the Caribbean.

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