Supervisor and Sean's Run Honor Police and Sponsors
Hudson, November 8, 2006 - At tonight’s Columbia
County Board of Supervisors Meeting, Chatham Town Supervisor Jesse
DeGroodt joined the organizers of Sean’s Run in paying tribute
to five individuals for their role in helping commence an innovative
program in Columbia County and across the capital district to increase
teens’ use of seatbelts. According to the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes are the number one cause
of teenage fatalities and nearly 2/3 of those killed were not wearing
“Unfortunately, for us in Chatham and throughout
Columbia County, these numbers represent more than a startling statistic.
We know teens who comprise the data, like Sean French who was killed,
and his buddy Ian Moore who is now paralyzed, both were riding unbuckled
in a car crashed by an intoxicated schoolmate in Chatham on January
1, 2002.” said Mr. DeGroodt. “The Battle of the Belts
is a wonderful collaboration of law enforcement officials, a county
agency, generous corporate sponsors and an energetic committee of
volunteers, all working to keep kids safe.”
Last winter the Sean’s Run committee designed
and began promoting the Battle of the Belts seatbelt buckling contest
as a fun way to encourage teens to always use seatbelts. The Committee
traveled across the region to introduce the event to schools and
youth organizations by meeting with SADD advisors, youth bureaus,
STOP DWI coordinators, police agencies and substance abuse service
providers in 10-counties. Last April, twenty five schools and youth
organizations registered teams to compete in the World Championship
Battle of the Belts, one of the activities of Sean’s Run produced
at Chatham High School .
The Sean’s Run organizers now hope the event
will become an annual activity for schools and youth groups across
the state and recently produced and distributed a “how-to”
DVD and written guidelines to assist groups plan and implement a
Battle of the Belts.
Mr. DeGroodt and the Committee presented awards to
Sheriff David Harrison, NYS Police Captain Robin Benziger and STOP
DWI Coordinator Jessica Nabozny in recognition of their work last
spring in encouraging local schools and youth organizations to implement
the Battle of the Belts project. Chatham and Hudson Police Departments
helped introduce the project within their respective school districts.
Also recognized were Carl Florio, President of First
Niagara Bank’s Eastern Division. The Bank’s Foundation
is the Presenting Sponsor of Sean’s Run. Gary Pollard, VP
at the Bank accepted on behalf of Mr. Florio. In addition, Andrew
James, General Manager of Rensselaer Honda was honored. Rensselaer
Honda is the corporate sponsor of the Battle of the Belts.
The Battle involves a competition between teams comprised
of four teenagers. At the start signal, a team runs to a car from
a starting line 25 feet from the rear bumper. All jump in and quickly
buckle up. When all four team members are buckled, an official,
usually a Police Officer, tells the team to “rotate”.
They unbuckle, jump out and run clockwise around the car to the
next seat and buckle up again. The process is repeated until all
four team members have been buckled four times when time is taken.
The fastest teams are invited to Sean’s Run to participate
in the World Championship.
The sixth annual Sean’s Run, and the second
annual World Championship Battle of the Belts is slated for April
29th at Chatham High School. More information is available by contacting
Jeff French, general chairmen, at 672-4757 or visiting www.SeansRun.com.
Sean’s Run Committee makes presentation
at Columbia County Board of Supervisors Meeting, November 8, 2007.
L-R: Mark French, Jill VanAlstyne, Carol Goold, Gary Pollard,
VP First Niagara Bank, Captain Robin Benziger, NYS Police, Sheriff
David Harrison, Columbia County Sheriff’s Department, Jessica
Nabozny, Columbia County STOP DWI Coordinator, Shari Franks and