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Ocean City

Playing Safe is the Goal

The Play it Safe Project is free events during the first three weeks of June for those high school graduates that celebrate their graduation in Ocean City, MD. The project is run by the town’s Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Committee as well as the health department and their ultimate goal is to promote healthy decisions through the various alcohol and drug-free events. There are high expectations this year as the project celebrates its 20th Anniversary. Each year there are 75,000 Play It Safe booklets distributed throughout Ocean City. The booklet provides coupons to various restaurants and stores along Coastal Highway, a calendar of all the events held throughout the month, as well as safety tips and a list of Ocean City’s laws and regulations. In the first three weeks of June, Ocean City is packed with young adults celebrating their recent graduation from high school. The major concern during the graduates’ “Senior Week” or “Beach Week” is the abuse of alcohol and drugs. The Play It Safe Project provides the opportunity to be active and social while participating in responsible events. Monday through Friday there are a variety of events available to the graduates. On Mondays there is windsurfing, kayak relays, moonlight bowling, and miniature golf. There is a beach volleyball tournament, karaoke, and a pancake eating contest on Tuesdays. On Wednesdays they offer a miniature golf tournament and a 3 on 3 basketball tournament. On Thursdays at the O.C Health and Racquet Club numerous events are offered including dodgeball, cardio, racquetball, weights, and swimming. Also on Thursdays are laser tag, miniature golf, and rockclimbing. To rap up the week, there is a tennis tournament, paintball, and a pizza eating contest. The free activities are appealing to many graduates and another perk they enjoy is a wristband allowing free bus rides. “It’s really cool they give us free activities throughout the week,” said high school graduate Kim Helmuth, “it’s nice to save money but still have things to do.” Last year there were over 13,185 high school graduates to participate, which was the largest number in the past 19 years. According to Bev Townsend, secretary of Ocean City’s Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Committee, there are typically 5,000 to 6,000 participants a week. She also commented on how nice and polite the high school graduates are. “I just want them to have a good time while they’re here and have them go home safe and sound,” Townsend said.

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