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Members of the Morris Area High School Business Professionals of America will be working hard over the next week to gather community support for safe driving. The district could win a grant of up to $100,000 and a concert from Kelly Clarkson if the community can make the most pledges.

Morris BPA needs pledges in safe driving campaign

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MORRIS – The Morris Area High School Business Professionals of America are working to rally community support for safe driving through State Farm’s Celebrate My Drive program.

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If enough community members make a safe driving pledge, the district could win a grant of up to $100,000 and a concert with recording artist Kelly Clarkson.

“We’re hoping that, in the end, it will help make our community a safer place for everyone and make it ok to for us to tell our peers ‘Put your phone down’ or ‘I can text for you,’” said Paige Loew, a member of the Celebrate My Drive Committee.

Safe teen driving has been an ongoing project for the group. Over the last two years, members of Morris BPA have organized several “X the TXT” events at MAHS, led safe driving programs at the state BPA convention, and attended and help facilitate a national safe driving summit in Washington D.C.

Distracted driving deaths are 100 percent preventable, said Loew, which is one reason it has been important for the group.

“It’s a habit,” said organizer Carly Gullickson. “Some people have the habit of just having their phone on them and pulling it out and checking the time. … If you start with teens and they don’t get into that habit, it’s easier to just not be distracted while you’re driving.”

During Celebrate My Drive, community members who are 14 and older can make one safe driving commitment per day between Oct. 18 and Oct. 26. at www.celebratemydrive.com.

There are more than 3,500 school participating in the event, competing for approximately 100 grants of $25,000 or $100,000. The large school and small school with the highest number of commitments will also win a concert from Kelly Clarkson.

To garner community support, members of Morris BPA have visited local businesses to talk about Celebrate My Drive and plan to table at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Customers at Willie’s SuperValu will also receive flyers about the campaign throughout the week.

“Businesses have been really, really nice to us,” said Gullickson. “They’ve been really welcoming with everything.”

Members of Morris BPA’s Celebrate My Drive committee hosted a “midnight madness” kickoff for the week at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 18. with the goal of getting 500 pledges in the first hour of voting.

Unfortunately, glitches with the Celebrate My Drive website made it difficult for participants to make pledges on the first day. Still, as of noon on Friday, Morris BPA was in seventh place among small schools.

To learn more about Celebrate My Drive, visit the group’s Facebook page – Celebrate My Drive-Morris BPA – at https://www.facebook.com/groups/527505327330966/. 

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Kim Ukura
Kim Ukura has served as the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune since August 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris in 2008 with degrees in English and journalism. She earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2010. Prior to returning to Morris to work at the Sun Tribune, she worked in trade publishing. 
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