Exhibition highlights consequences of teen alcohol abuse

ELIZABETHTOWN In just an instant, a life can be irrevocably changed or lost to underage drinking. The B.E.S.T. Task Force, working to educate parents/guardians about the dangers of Hosting Underage Drinking is sponsoring the One Second, Everything Changes exhibit in many of Essex Countys schools. The exhibit is a powerful and moving example of what happens when one chooses to drink or serve alcohol. This display sends a clear message of the negative outcomes of drinking and driving and how if affects family, friends as well as victims, said Mary Breyette of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Essex County, one of the display coordinators. One Second, Everything Changes tells the stories of two crashes caused by intoxicated drivers which killed two Franklin County students: Brandon Dunleavy, an 18-year-old senior at Franklin Academy and 17-year-old Allison Follett, a recent graduate of Brushton-Moira School and a college freshman at Cazenovia College. The exhibit, developed in close collaboration with the parents of each of the teens, focuses on the lives of the victims prior to the crash, emphasizing individual histories through photos, possessions and interviews of victims friends and families. A timeline traces the events of the victims last day, including a detailed account of the crash itself. The loss that the families, friends, police and community experienced is highlighted as well. Breyette said she hoped both youth and adults come away with a clearer picture of the impact of drinking. We encourage parents/guardians to hold strong to the commitment that underage drinking or serving of alcohol, even in a controlled environment, is never the message we want to send to our youth, said Breyette. The exhibit will be on display at: April 21-23 - Minerva Central School April 23-25 - Newcomb Central School April 28-May 2 - Willsboro Central School May 5-10 - Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School May 12-27 - Ticonderoga Central School May 19-23 - Crown Point Central School June 2-4 Mountainside Bible School June 5 - Schroon Lake Central School Aug. 13-17 - Essex County Fair

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