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It is local prom season for Centralia, Hallsville and Sturgeon students. MADD reminds parents that lifesaving conversations start with you!

Posted on Tuesday, April 25, 2023 at 12:50 pm

Enjoy your prom safely, don’t drink and drive

Courtesy MADD

Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) and National Presenting Sponsor Nationwide® launched the 12th Annual PowerTalk21® campaign today to remind parents that they have the power to protect their teens from the risks and consequences of underage drinking and other drug use.

Timed to coincide with planning for prom and graduation activities, this year’s theme, “Lifesaving Conversations Start With You!” highlights the critical role parents have in influencing their teens to not consume alcohol before age 21 and to never get into a car with a driver who is impaired.  A recent survey commissioned by MADD with IPSOS, a global research company, funded through the generosity of the General Motors Foundation; found that parents may be devaluing their role in preventing underage drinking.  In fact, of the teens surveyed, 3 in 5 credit their parent with being most important in their decision-making.  Parents by contrast put themselves as second, after their teens’ friends as most impactful.

The Hallsville Prom is Saturday, April 30 at the Columbia Country Club.

This year’s Hallsville Prom theme is

Viva Las Vegas.

The Grand March is at 7 p.m., at

the Columbia Country Club

and the dance begins at 7:30 p.m.

Hallsville’s candidates from Prom King and Queen — From the front left: Oliva Gill, Jayden Martin, Lydia Hicks , Mia Hill, Madysen Lucas. Back: Riley Barnes, Logan Cox, Andrew Orscheln, Garrett Scheetz. Not pictured Dawson Wehmeyer – . Hallsville R-IV photo

“With prom, graduation, and summer break all coming up soon, April and May are the perfect time for parents and key adult role models to incorporate intentional conversations with teens about the dangers of underage drinking and other drug use,” said MADD CEO Stacey Stewart. “Parents are the number one influence in their child’s decisions about drinking.  As a mother myself, I know that it may not always feel that way, MADD wants to remind, empower, and equip us as parents with the tools to help our children to make smarter, safer choices and to help prevent tragedies during these milestone seasons for teens.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), underage drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths each year and can lead to early addiction as well as many other dangerous outcomes. In addition, marijuana is the leading cause of substance dependence other than alcohol in the United States.

In observation of Alcohol Awareness Month in April and Teen Driver Safety Month in May, MADD has designated April 1 through May 31 as PowerTalk21® Season. This time of year, presents multiple milestones such as prom, graduation and the start of summer break that may bring an increased presence of alcohol and other drugs for teens and young adults under 21. During this time, MADD staff and volunteers across the country will host events in their communities and online to provide resources and information to parents about the dangers of underage drinking and drug use.

“We remain grateful to Nationwide for their long-standing commitment to MADD’s mission.  This program truly would not have been possible without their support,” said MADD CEO Stacey Stewart.

“Nationwide is honored to partner with MADD during this year’s PowerTalk21, encouraging parents and guardians to have impactful conversations about the dangers of underage drinking and other drug use with their teens,” said MADD National Board Member Martha Frye, Nationwide’s Senior Vice President of Personal Lines Claims. “As a company committed to protecting people, businesses and futures with extraordinary care, there is no more important work that aligns with our values than to keep drivers and passengers safe.”

PowerTalk 21® is a part of MADD’s Power of Parents® program, based on research by Dr. Turrisi, that empowers parents of middle school and high school students to have ongoing, intentional conversations about the dangers and consequences of underage drinking and drug use. Parents can download free Power of Parents® handbooks for parents of middle school and high school students at