SOURCE: MADD Canada

MADD Canada

September 13, 2016 08:30 ET

In the Blink of an Eye -- Ontario Students See the Devastation Impaired Driving Can Cause

BARRIE, ON--(Marketwired - September 13, 2016) - Your world can change in the blink of an eye. That's the message MADD Canada and LCBO will be driving home to Ontario students throughout this school year.

MADD Canada's 2016-2017 School Assembly Program, titled In the Blink of an Eye, begins its provincial tour this month. Four of MADD Canada's School Outreach Field Representatives will travel around the province, delivering approximately 1,600 presentations to Ontario schools.

A special screening of this year's presentation is being hosted at Bear Creek Secondary School in Barrie today by MADD Canada and LCBO.

In the Blink of an Eye tells the story of best friends Gabby and Sarah. One night, as the girls prepare to go to a party, they are joined by Sarah's boyfriend Dylan, and his friend Asif. Sarah drinks and smokes pot with Dylan and Asif, while Gabby declines. Dylan, anxious to get to the party, decides to drive rather than wait for a cab. His friends strongly object and refuse to get in the car. A very upset Sarah calls 911 to report Dylan, while Asif walks Gabby home. Even though Gabby, Asif and Sarah all do the right thing, a tragic twist of fate ends a friendship abruptly and ruins many lives. And it all happens in the blink of an eye.

"With road crashes being the number one cause of death among young people in Canada, and with more than half of those deaths involving alcohol and/or drugs, it is absolutely crucial to educate youth about these risks, and empower them to make safe choices to protect themselves and one another," said MADD Canada Incoming National President Patricia Hynes-Coates. "With its realistic scenarios and storylines targeted specifically to today's youth, MADD Canada's School Assembly Program is a dynamic and effective educational tool."

LCBO is a long-time supporter of MADD Canada and a generous Provincial Partner of the School Assembly Program. Each December, LCBO, its customers and staff raise funds for the School Assembly Program through the Giving Back in Our Community in-store campaign. The funds are instrumental in the production of the School Assembly Program and its delivery to more than half a million students in Grades 7 - 12.

"Our generous customers and dedicated staff raised $2.3 million for MADD Canada's School Assembly Program last year," said LCBO President and CEO George Soleas. "Their amazing commitment to help educate youth about the dangers of impaired driving will ensure that In The Blink Of An Eye will be seen by more than half a million Ontario students this year, at no cost to the schools."

"LCBO is one of the largest and most passionate supporters of our School Assembly Program," said Ms. Hynes-Coates. "Thanks to their customers and staff, we can reach out directly to hundreds of thousands of students to open a dialogue on the importance of sober driving and responsible decision-making."

In addition to the fictional storyline in In the Blink of an Eye, the presentation also features emotional real-life accounts of victims of impaired driving. In fact, it is the victim testimonials that have the most lasting impact on students. This year's program tells the stories of:

  • Dean "DJ" Hancock
    DJ Hancock was on his way home from a hockey tryout when his car was struck head-on by an impaired driver who crossed the centre line. DJ's parents arrived on the scene minutes later. He was breathing when his parents got there, but died as he was lifted from the mangled car.
  • Jackie Dionne
    Jackie and Kevin Clements were passengers in a car driven by a friend who was impaired by alcohol and drugs. The impaired driver lost control and crashed into a ditch. The driver and another passenger were treated for injuries and released. Jackie was killed instantly and Kevin died the next day. Jackie had a toddler son, Jayden.
  • Mackenzie Fragoso
    Mackenzie was riding in a car with her dad, David Fragoso, and step-mother, Charlotte Patterson, when they were hit head-on by an impaired driver who crossed the centre line. David and Charlotte were killed. Seriously injured, 12-year-old Mackenzie was pulled from the burning vehicle seconds before it exploded.

To see a clip from In the Blink of an Eye, please visit our School Assembly Program page in the Youth Services section on the MADD Canada web site at www.madd.ca.

Evidence shows that MADD Canada's strategies to reach young people are working. A 2013-2014 survey of students who saw that year's School Assembly Program, titled Smashed, showed a majority of students said it is not okay to drink any amount and drive and were not at all likely to accept a ride from someone who had consumed alcohol or had used marijuana.

Note to Assignment Editors: For information on when In the Blink of an Eye is visiting your area, please contact Deb Kelly, MADD Canada Communications Manager, at 1-800-665-6233, ext. 240 or dkelly@madd.ca.

Contact Information

  • For more information, please contact:
    Patricia Hynes Coates
    Incoming National President
    647-919-6233
    phynescoates@madd.ca

    Deb Kelly
    MADD Canada Communications Manager
    1-800-665-6233
    dkelly@madd.ca

    Genevieve Tomney
    Media Relations Coordinator
    Corporate Communications, LCBO
    416-864-6875
    genevieve.tomney@lcbo.com