Niagara Awards Sean’s Run Grants
March 23, 2007 – First Niagara Bank and the
organizers of Sean’s Run announced today the names of the
schools and organization selected to be awarded cash grants to support
creative school-based programs that address the problems of underage
drinking, impaired driving and teens’ lax use of seatbelts.
First Niagara is the Presenting Sponsor of Sean’s
Run, the annual community event held at Chatham High School that
attracts hundreds of participants from throughout the region on
the last Sunday of April. The money raised at Sean’s Run is
invested in year-round programs at schools and youth organizations
selected through a competitive application process. Schools in a
10-county region were invited in September to apply for funding.
Winners include the following high schools: Taconic
Hills and Chatham in Columbia County, Guilderland and Berne Knox
Westerlo in Albany County, Berlin, Averill Park and Hoosick Falls
in Rensselaer County, Scotia Glenville in Schenectady County. Also
MADD of the Capital District has been awarded a grant.
Over the past four years, the money raised at Sean’s
Run has supported 38 programs, totaling $26,900. In the past, schools
in Washington, Saratoga, Fulton and Berkshire Counties have also
been awarded grants.
First Niagara’s Thomas L. Amell, the bank’s
Eastern New York Regional President, noted, “First Niagara
is the Presenting Sponsor of Sean’s Run because encouraging
young people to make safe choices when it comes to driving is important
The sixth annual Sean’s Run, scheduled for Sunday,
April 29, will include a 5K and 1 Mile run/walk, a Prevention Educational
Expo, a Tribute to Victims and Survivors of drunken driving, and
the World Championship Battle of the Belts interscholastic seatbelt
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of teen deaths. 38%
of the fatalities involve alcohol and nearly 2/3 of all teens that
perish in car crashes were not using seat belts.
Jeff French, Chairman of Sean’s Run, said “First
Niagara Bank makes it possible for us to provide seed money that
encourages schools to try innovative activities to reduce the number
of teens who consume alcohol, ride with an impaired driver, drink
and drive, or fail to use their seatbelts.”
Sean’s Run and the grants program were established
in response to the tragic death of Sean Patrick French, the 17-year
old Chatham High School junior, honor roll student, community volunteer
and record-setting athlete who was killed on January 1, 2002, as
a passenger on a drunk-driving car crash. Another passenger, 17-year
old Ian Moore, sustained paralyzing injuries. The driver, a 17-year
old, had previously been arrested for drunk driving just 18 days
prior to the fatal crash.
This tragedy prompted the enactment of Sean’s
Law on January 1, 2003 that requires the suspension of a license
upon the first arrest of a 16 or 17 year old on drunken driving
More information is available at www.SeansRun.com
or by calling Jeff French at 672-4757.