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In Memory of
Nancy Zygmon

Grant Application Form

Sean’s Run
Application for Grant from Sean’s Run
To Produce A Preliminary Battle of the Belts at your school or youth organization.
The Battle of the Belts is a fun, fast-paced and easy-to-implement seatbelt buckling contest designed to increase teen’s use of seatbelts.

Application Due Date: December 1st
Grant Application Form


 

What is the World Championship Battle of the Belts?
Go to our YouTube channel:
visit our You Tube site

See our photo gallery: Click here for photos

How to Apply: Applicants submit just two (2) pages:
Page 1: Single-page Letter of Application
Page 2: One page Explanation on Use of up to $650
Grant Application Form k t
Application Due Date: December 1st

Submit 2 copies by Snail Mail - deadline December 1st:
Eileen French
1002 Fort Hunter Road
Schenectady, NY 12303

or e-Mail by December 1st:
(PDF file preferred) to efrench@rencorp.org


Eligible Applicants
Groups that can receive $650 to Plan and Produce their own Battle:

  • Middle School and High School Clubs (Student Council, SADD Chapters, PTA, etc)
  • Community Based Youth Organizations (Scouts, Church groups, 4-H clubs, etc.)

Applicants must commit to:

  • Producing their own local Preliminary Battle of the Belts for middle school-age (Grades 5 – 8) and/or high school-age youth in March or April,

  • Registering and paying entry fee ($15 per youth) for youth to participate in Sean’s Run and the World Championship Battle of the Belts.

  • Bringing a team to participate in the World Championship Battle of the Belts at Sean’s Run.

Use of Donation
The donation, up to $650, may be used to cover costs for:

  • Producing your own Preliminary Battle of the Belts for middle school (grades 5-8) and/or high school-age youth in March or April (expenses may include such things as awards, t-shirts, etc)

  • Registering and paying the $15 entry fee per youth to participate in Sean’s Run and the World Championship Battle of the Belts

  • Transportation costs (bus for example) to bring your group to Sean’s Run, arriving by 9:30AM at Chatham High School to compete in the World Championship Battle of the Belts.

When is the money presented?
Winners get checks, up to $650, in February. Awards announced January. Recipient groups will be introduced during Sean’s Run at Chatham High School.


Why is Sean’s Run offering these donations of $650?
Because seatbelts save lives! Because too many teens are failing to buckle-up.

And because every now and then a good idea comes along that encourages youth to make good choices. We are willing to provide the funds so you can implement this good idea!

The Battle of the Belts is a fun and easy-to-implement activity to teach Teens and ‘Tweens about always using their seatbelts. Kids tell us they really like participating in the Battle of the Belts!

It seems like every week we read about youth killed in car crashes - car wrecks are the number one cause of death for teens. And nearly 2/3 of those who perish were not using seatbelts!

And why do so many youth fail to buckle up? They have the lamest excuses like, “Nothing’s going to happen to me!” According to a national study conducted by Volkswagen of America, teens need to change their attitudes and behaviors when it comes to using seatbelts.

The fact is that if you can change teens’ attitudes about using car safety belts, you might be saving their lives! Youth experts agree that the most effective way to get a safety message across to a teenager is when the message comes from another teenager. The Battle of the Belts is a fun teenage activity to express the message to other teens about the importance of using seatbelts.

Principals, Youth Program Leaders, Police Officers, STOP DWI Coordinators, Youth Bureau Directors, School Superintendents, SADD advisors, School Resource Officers, teens and parents have told us the Battle of the Belts can increase the use of seatbelts.

What Goes Into Planning and Producing a Battle of the Belts?
It’s very easy to produce your own Battle – and we have some other information to help you on our website (click here). You will find Battle of the Belts rules, FAQs and photos.

Plus, we have a DVD that also explains how to implement a Battle of the Belts. To receive a free copy of the DVD, contact us by e-mail at: MarkFrench@Fairpoint.net

The World Championship Battle of the Belts –
at Sean's Run

You can use your Preliminary Battle to select a team of youth who will represent your school or organization and compete at the World Championship Battle of the Belts! We expect dozens of schools and youth organizations will be represented at the World Championships at Sean’s Run at Chatham High School.

Note: All World Championship participants must submit a Sean’s Run registration form and pay the $15 entry fee. Your youth and their advisor or responsible parent will need to arrive at Chatham High School by 9:30 AM on the date of Sean’s Run to have sufficient time to pick up their Bib Numbers and goodies packet, sign in at the Battle of Belts Registration Table, and practice in the official event vehicles, before the start of the World Championship.

Selection of Winners
Priority will be given to groups that commit to involving the greatest number of participants in their Preliminary Battle of the Belts and those who plan to bring the greatest number of youth to participate in Sean’s Run.

Reporting Requirements
By May 15th, awardees are required to submit a brief report about project implementation and success, along with newspaper articles about their Preliminary Battle of the Belts to: Eileen French, 1002 Fort Hunter Road, Schenectady, NY 12303.

How the Fund is Administered
The Sean’s Run Fund is administered by the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, a 501(c) (3) public charity that serves as our fiscal agent providing tax-exempt status.

Questions?
E-mail questions to efrench@rencorp.org.

Past Donation Recipients – Click here for listing of grant winners by year.

Amsterdam High School SADD
Algonquin MS
Averill Park HS SADD
Berlin Jr/Sr HS SADD
Berne-Knox-Westerlo HS SADD
Canojaharie High School
Capital District Parents Who Host
Lose the Most
Chatham HS SADD
Chatham MS SADD
Choices 301
Council on Addition Prevention and Education (CAPE)
East Greenbush Goff Middle School
Families Together Inc.
Fonda-Fultonville HS SADD
Fort Plain Jr/Sr High School
Germantown High School

Hawthorne Valley School
Hoosick Falls Youth Summit Team
Hudson Department of Youth
Hudson HS
Hudson Valley Youth Action on Tobacco
Lynch Literacy Academy Peer Leadership Club
Maple Hill HS
Maple Hill MS
Mohonasen HS SADD
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
New Lebanon CSD
Pine Plains Stissing Mt. HS SADD
Red Hook BSA Troop 42
Remove Intoxicated Drivers (RID)
Shenendehowa HS
Schodack/Castleton Community Partnership
Scotia Glenville HS
Taconic Hills HS SADD

Background Section
Sean’s Run elevates awareness of the problems of underage drinking, impaired driving and teens’ lax use of seatbelts. The two-day event is produced at Chatham High School, Columbia County, on the last Saturday and Sunday in April, as a prom season reminder to high school students about the dangers of drinking and driving and to encourage increased use of seatbelts.

On Saturday, Sean’s Run produces the Super Saturday Run for Special Needs Kids, a short group run for children and adults with developmental disabilities.  Also, the Sean’s Run Zumbathon®  takes place Saturday morning.

On Sunday, the activities of Sean’s Run include a Prevention Education Expo, comprised of exhibits by a variety of non-profit and government agencies providing information about programs and efforts to promote positive youth development.   Sunday also includes the Introductions of Grant winners, Introduction of Scholarship winners, Meghan’s Mile, the 5K and the World Championship Battle of the Belts. The 5K and Meghan’s Mile youth race, with scenic courses through the Village of Chatham, have had over 1,400 entrants in the past.  Victims and Survivors of drunk driving are special guests and are provided free entry into the run/walk. Prior to the run/walk, the World Championship Battle of the Belts is staged and involves teams from schools and youth groups from throughout the region.

Money raised through sponsorships and other contributions is given away as donations to school groups and community-based youth organizations to support implementation of Preliminary Battle of the Belts, and as scholarships to deserving high school seniors. The Battle of the Belts is a fun, fast-paced and easy-to-implement seatbelt buckling contest designed to increase teens use of seatbelts.

Money raised through sponsorships and other contributions is given away as donations to school groups and community-based youth organizations to support implementation of Preliminary Battle of the Belts, and as scholarships to deserving high school seniors. The Battle of the Belts is a fun, fast-paced and easy-to-implement seatbelt buckling contest designed to increase teens use of seatbelts.

The 5K and Meghan’s Mile youth race, with scenic courses through the Village of Chatham, have average 1,400 entrants over the past two year.  Victims and Survivors of drunk driving are special guests and are provided free entry into the run/walk. Prior to the run/walk, the World Championship Battle of the Belts is staged and involves teams from schools and youth groups from throughout the region.

Sean’s Run was established as a community-wide response to the tragic death of Sean Patrick French. Sean is the 17-year old Chatham High School junior, honor roll student, community volunteer and record-setting athlete who was killed on January 1, 2002, as a passenger on an underage drunk-driving car crash in Chatham.

Another passenger, Sean’s buddy and classmate, 17-year old Ian Moore, sustained paralyzing injuries and now is a paraplegic. The driver, a 17-year old who had previously been arrested for drunk driving just 18 days prior to the fatal crash, was convicted for drunk driving and manslaughter and served a prison sentence.

The organizers and sponsors of Sean’s Run hope to prevent similar loss of young lives.

This tragedy prompted the enactment of Sean’s Law on January 1, 2003 that requires the suspension of a license upon the first arrest of a 16- or 17-year old on drunken driving charges. The Bill to implement Sean’s Law passed in both the NYS Senate and Assembly with unanimous votes in just 90 days, and was signed into law by Governor George Pataki during a public ceremony at Chatham High School on September 30, 2002.

Sean’s story is featured in the dramatic educational video entitled “Confronting Drunk Driving” distributed to schools across the USA by Human Relations Media, (800) 431-2050. Sean’s story has been reported in Sports Illustrated and on several TV news documentaries including one produced for Brazilian TV. More information about Sean and all the activities of Sean’s Run is available at the www.SeansRun.com website.


WHY DON’T TEENS BUCKLE UP?
Teens Cite Peer Pressure as Top Reason for Not Buckling Up
According to a nationwide polling of high school students conducted by Volkswagen of America, Inc. in 2004,

  • Peer pressure,
  • Lack of comfort,
  • A feeling of invincibility, and
  • Just not necessary for short trips from school or home

are the leading reasons American teenagers cite for not using safety belts.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), teens and young adults are the group least likely to buckle up and most likely to die in traffic accidents. In 2001, more than 5,000 teens perished in auto accidents; two-thirds of those, tragically, were not wearing safety belts.
Volkswagen informally polled several hundred high school students and teachers and asked: “What are the primary reasons teenagers don’t wear seat belts as often as they should?” Among the findings:

  • Uncool (peer pressure not to wear; embarrassment) — 32%
  • Uncomfortable (too constricting; wrinkles clothes) — 30%
  • Only traveling short distance — 20%
  • Feeling of invincibility (nothing will happen to me) — 18%

Additionally, most students knew of a friend or relative who had been in an auto accident and who benefited from wearing a safety belt. Despite this, many still felt such a scenario was not likely to happen to them. Students polled resided in the areas of: Atlanta; Boston; Detroit; Los Angeles; Miami/Ft. Lauderdale; New York; San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
“We believe the most effective messenger for a teenager is another teenager and our survey findings confirm this,” said Frank Maguire, vice president of sales and marketing for Volkswagen of America. “This is a national health problem that could be cured if teens thought it was hipper and more important for their well-being to wear a safety belt.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in fact, reports that safety belts save over 11,000 lives a year.

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