Niagara Awards Sean’s Run Grants
February 1, 2008 — First Niagara
Bank Foundation and the organizers of Sean’s Run recently
announced the names of the schools and youth organizations to be
awarded cash grants to implement the Battle of the Belts, a fun
and fast moving activity designed by the Sean’s Run Organizing
Committee to increase teens’ use of seatbelts. According to
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes
are the number one cause of death for teens and nearly 2/3 of those
who perish were not using safety belts.
First Niagara Bank Foundation 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 programs at schools and youth organizations selected
through a competitive application process. Schools and youth groups
in 9-counties surrounding Columbia County were sent invitations
in September to apply for funding.
Grant winners include the following:
- Columbia County – the Hudson City Department
of Youth, Taconic Hills, Hawthorne Valley and Chatham High Schools.
- Albany County Berne Knox Westerlo High School
and Families Together, Inc.
- Rensselaer County - Berlin, Averill Park and
Hoosick Falls High Schools.
- Schenectady County – Mohonasen High School.
- Dutchess County – Red Hook BSA Troop 42 and
Pine Plains High School.
- Montgomery County – Amsterdam High School,
Lynch Literacy Academy and Fonda Fultonville High School.
In addition, grants will be awarded to Mothers Against
Drunk Driving (MADD), Remove Intoxicated Drivers (RID) and Capital
District Parents Who Host Loose the Most, to support projects aimed
at combating underage drinking and impaired driving.
Over the past five years, the money raised at Sean’s
Run has been donated to support 56 programs, totaling $34,300. In
addition, funds raised at Sean’s Run have supported college
scholarships totaling $25,000 presented to 38 young people.
Thomas Amell, Eastern New York Regional President
for First Niagara in announcing the grants program noted, “The
Battle of the Belts is a great way to reach young people and underscore
the importance of always using seatbelts. First Niagara Bank Foundation
is the Presenting Sponsor of Sean’s Run because we believe
that investing in the safety of our teens is good business.”
The seventh annual Sean’s Run, scheduled for
Sunday, April 27, 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 bucking contest.
The New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety
Committee invited the Sean’s Run organizers to present a workshop
about the Battle of the Belts during the State’s annual traffic
safety conference held this past October in Lake Placid. County
Traffic Safety Boards, STOP DWI Coordinators and police agencies
from around the state attended the conference.
Jeff French, Chairman of Sean’s Run, said
“First Niagara Bank Foundation makes it possible for us to
provide seed money that encourages schools and youth groups to try
this innovative activity to reduce the number of teens who 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.
More information is available on this website
or by calling Jeff French at 672-4757.