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Letter: SafeRides board thanks supporters

Published 11:04 am, Friday, August 30, 2013
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The SafeRides of Westport Board of Directors would like to thank the community for its continued support of our program. As SafeRides has finished its fourth year of service to the high-school-age teenagers in town, the new board would like to thank eight student-board members who graduated last spring: August Laska, Cheyenne Haslett, Danielle Honigstein, Ned Hardy, Julia Tziolis, Maddie Mann, Rose Propp and Tori Scordato. Our student board works hard finding student and parent volunteers, training them and managing the schedule; dispatching three and sometimes four cars every Saturday night.

We'd also like to acknowledge the four adults who are board advisors: Julie Mombello, Jack Klinge, Catherine Davis and Nancy Aldrich. We are lucky that they are not graduating and will continue with the program, giving us gentle guidance. The other role parents play in SafeRides is to act as an adult on duty every Saturday night in case of an emergency. There is a brief training session, and the adults who stay up until 1 a.m. on Sunday report they enjoy being invisible in a room full of teens working with purpose. We need adults for the upcoming year.

Enthusiasm alone doesn't pay the bills, or work out practical problems with curfew laws, etc. The Safe Rides program couldn't continue successfully without the active cooperation of the Westport Police Department, the culinary support of Westport Pizzeria every Saturday night and the financial support of the PTAs of Staples, Long Lots, Bedford, and Coleytown Middle School. PAL also stepped up to support SafeRides, demonstrating, once again, the bedrock community spirit of Westport and support for this program. We must give an exceptionally grateful thank you to Christ and Holy Trinity Church for their crucial kindness in housing our base operations every week throughout the school year for the last four years.

Student volunteers drove hundreds of kids home this past year because they felt unsafe driving themselves, unsafe riding with another person or needed a ride home from a baby-sitting job. Who knows how many just used us as a taxi service? But if we kept just one person safe by having them in one of our cars, SafeRides is a success.

Our next year begins in September right after school starts. Staples High School or Greens Farms Academy students -- and especially parents -- can learn about training dates by emailing: saferidesofwestport@gmail.com

Catherine Davis

2013-2014 SafeRides' Board