GREENVILLE — The Safety Council of the Darke County Chamber of Commerce awarded checks to two groups at Brethren Retirement Community during a luncheon in Greenville Thursday.
One check, for $2,000, was presented to BRC President/CEO John Warner.
“On behalf of the board, residents and staff of Brethren Retirement Community, I want to say thank you for your extreme generosity. This will help us continue our ministry and mission here in the Darke County community, so we consider it very much an honor to receive this and we’ll put this to good use,” said Warner.
The other check, for $1,000, was given to two law enforcement officers — Darke County Sheriff Chief Deputy Mark Whittaker and Greenville School Resource Officer Jesse Osswald.
The money given to Whittaker and Osswald will be earmarked for the “Save a Life Tour” program that officers hope to stage for Darke County students sometime in 2017.
Save a Life is a program which informs, educates, and demonstrates the potentially deadly consequences resulting from poor choices and decisions made by the operator of a motor vehicle. It utilizes several methods to achieve this goal. The program has been presented to students at more than 1500 different colleges and universities and more than 600 different high schools across the country. It has also been presented to many U.S. military installations in the United States and across the world.
“They will come to the schools and they will put on a very visual program to educate students, driving age students, about distracted driving and impaired driving. It results in simulator, which they can sit in, and it’s very interactive,” said Whittaker.
The program places emphasis on driver education, improper driver behavior, safety restraints, impaired driving, distracted driving, and motorcycle awareness.
Whittaker said the cost to run the program is typically about $3,600 to $3,700 per site, per day. To stage the program at all county school districts might cost between $15,000 and $20,000. He added that all the county’s school superintendents he’d spoken with had expressed a positive interest in the venture.
“These programs, because there’s a lot of technology behind them, they’re not free — they cost money,” said Whittaker.
Osswald, who serves as school resource officer at Greenville High School, has attended a prior Save a Life program, and believes it will be impactful and students will pay attention.
“It’s hard to find a program that kids are interested in, will keep their attention,” he said. “Save a Life Tour is very good at that.”
“I could try to put a program, but it’s not going to be like this. That’s where it’s important to get programs like this. It keeps them focused and really gives them an impact,” he added.
Neither Osswald or Whittaker were sure when the program could visit the area, noting that the venture had scheduled many bookings already across the country, but hoped sometime in the spring or fall of 2017.
Sharon Deschambeau, Darke County Chamber of Commerce President, said Darke County Safety Council members elected to donate $1,000 to kickoff the Save A Life safety project in lieu of holiday gifts for themselves.
Other speakers featured during the Safety Council luncheon were Susan Shamis, safety consultant with the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation and Karen Droesch, registered dietician with Wayne HealthCare.
Donations for the Save A Life Tour for Darke County can be made by mail or drop off to the Coalition for a Healthy Darke County, 209 East Fourth Street, Greenville, Ohio 45331, or through the Darke County United Way, 207 East Fourth Street, Greenville, Ohio 45331. Please make checks payable to the Coalition for a Healthy Darke County and specify that the gift is for the Save A Life Tour. As well, donations may be made online at www.coalitiondarkecounty.com/safety.htm on the website www.CoalitionDarkeCounty.com.
For more information contact Darke County Safety Council Manager Sharon Deschambeau at 937-548-2102.