INVITED TO APPLY FOR GRANTS
From First Niagara Bank Foundation and Sean’s
Hudson, September 21, 2006 - The First Niagara Bank
Foundation and the organizers of Sean’s Run have announced
the availability of cash grants to support creative school-based
programs that address the problems of underage drinking, impaired
driving and teens’ lax use of seatbelts. In the past three
years, the moneys raised at Sean’s Run through sponsorships,
donations and entry fees has been given to schools around the region
to fund 29 different projects totaling $22,400.
Organizations eligible to apply for grants ranging
from $250 to $500 include SADD chapters (Students Against Destructive
Decisions), MADD Chapters (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and RID
Chapters (Remove Intoxicated Drivers) in the 10-county region that
includes Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady,
Saratoga, Fulton and Montgomery counties in New York and Berkshire
County in Massachusetts.
This past April, SADD chapters at Taconic Hills, Germantown
and Chatham were awarded grants. Also SADD chapters at Amsterdam,
Averill Park, Berlin, Hoosick Falls, Scotia-Glenville received funding,
as did MADD of the Capital District.
Sean’s Run, an annual community event held at
Chatham High School, attracts hundreds of participants from throughout
the region on the last Sunday of April, and includes 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.
Carl Florio, President of First Niagara Bank’s
Eastern Region, in announcing the grants program noted, “First
Niagara Bank Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor of Sean’s
Run because we think the event and the programs it funds are a great
way to reach young people and encourage them to make safe choices
when it comes to driving.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of teen deaths. In
2003, 38% of these fatalities involved alcohol and nearly 2/3 of
all teens that perished in car crashes were not using seat belts.
School SADD chapters in 110 schools across the ten-county
region have been sent invitations to submit proposals using an application
that is also available at the SeansRun.com website. Applications
are due by December 2, 2006.
Jeff French, Chairman of Sean’s Run, said “With
the generous support of First Niagara Bank Foundation we are able
to encourage innovative activities that aim to reduce the number
of teens who consume alcohol, ride with an impaired driver, drink
and drive, or fail to use their seatbelts.”
In their invitation to apply for funding, the Sean’s
Run organizing committee has designated a number of preferred uses
of the grant funds. The first involves covering a portion of the
costs for schools to implement AlcoholEdu™ For High Schools,
a web-based 3-hour course that incorporates proven prevention techniques
with essential science-based alcohol education. The project is endorsed
by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
As a second priority, schools may apply for grant
funds to cover costs of producing a Battle of the Belts. This is
a fun and fast-paced seatbelt buckling competition that encourages
increased use of safety belts by teenagers.
The Committee, the Memorial Run/Walk 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
For more information, contact Jeff French at