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Text Message Your Teen on Prom Night
[April 13, 2007]

Text Message Your Teen on Prom Night


WASHINGTON, April 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Taking advantage of how teens prefer to communicate, The Century Council, an organization funded by distillers dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, is launching its second annual safe prom campaign using text messaging as a creative way to remind teens to make smart decisions and not to drink alcohol during prom night or throughout the year.



In order to send the text message, family members and friends only need to do the following: Visit http://www.prmtxt.org/. Register the teen's cell phone number, date of prom, and zip code. On prom night, teens will receive the message: "Have fun 2night. Stay safe. Don't drink. Luv u." Participants can also receive a confirmation that evening that their message was sent.

The prom text messaging initiative is spearheaded by The Century Council and is supported by The Wireless Foundation, the charitable organization formed by the member companies of CTIA -- The Wireless Association, the international association of the wireless telecommunications industry, and Teen Arrive Alive, dedicated to addressing teen driving safety. The goal of the initiative is to remind teens to stay safe and alcohol-free on prom night and to encourage a dialogue between parents and teens about the dangers of underage drinking. Additionally, the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) and the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA) are participating by encouraging their members to utilize this tool to keep teens safe during prom season.


"We encourage parents to talk to their teen over and over again, especially on prom night, and remind them that underage drinking is illegal and unsafe," says Susan Molinari, Chairman, The Century Council. "Text messaging allows parents to reinforce with their teens how serious this issue is and how much parents care. And we know parents make a difference. But the prom text messaging initiative is not limited to only parents. Grandparents, siblings, friends -- anyone can visit http://www.prmtxt.org/ and send a text message to someone they care about on prom night. We were very energized by last year's participation in this initiative and hope to reach even more teens with this important message."

Studies show that 65% of teens cite parents as their leading influence in their decision not to drink.

Steve Largent, President & CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association(R) added, "It's no secret that kids love to text message their friends. Text messaging has increased 93 percent over the past year and is one of the primary methods of communication for teens. So it makes perfect sense for parents to reach out to their teens with a very important message, and do it in a way their kids can relate to. We hope by reaching teens in a manner they're comfortable with, we will keep kids safe and alcohol-free this year."

Last year during Prom and Graduation Season (April, May, June 2005), 676 youths under the age of 21 were killed in alcohol-related traffic fatalities nationwide according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) -- stark evidence that Prom and Graduation season is a particularly dangerous time for our nation's youth. While there has been a nine percent reduction in the number of our youths killed as a result of alcohol-related traffic crashes during the months April through June, much more must be done to address this problem.

In addition to working with partners to publicize the text messaging campaign, the Council will encourage students to register for the safe prom text message at events across the country during Prom season, specifically through Brandon Silveria, a young man who missed his high school prom as the result of a near fatal alcohol-related car crash. Brandon and his father, Tony, travel to high schools across the country on behalf of The Century Council to spread their lifesaving message. After spending three months in a coma and several years in rehabilitation, Brandon suffers the long-term effects of one bad decision -- his decision to illegally consume alcohol and drive drunk.

Jack Church, Vice President of Teen Arrive Alive, knows all to well the consequences that often result from underage drinking. He lost a son in an alcohol related crash. "This text messaging campaign is yet another tool for parents to use to keep their kids protected," said Church. "All too often, the joy of prom season is overshadowed by tragedy. We want to prevent that and encourage parents to register and send their teens a message and -- most importantly -- talk to teens about the importance of making responsible decisions as they become young adults."

For more information, visit http://www.prmtxt.org/.

The Century Council

Celebrating more than 15 years in the fight against drunk driving and underage drinking, The Century Council's funding companies, Bacardi U.S.A., Inc., Brown-Forman, Constellation Brands, Inc., DIAGEO, Future Brands LLC, Hood River Distillers, Inc., and Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc. have invested more than $175 million in educational and outreach programs. "Girl Talk: Choices and Consequences of Underage Drinking," "Ask, Listen, Learn(R): Kids and Alcohol Don't Mix," "Brandon Tells His Story," "Blood Alcohol Educator," "Alcohol 101 Plus(R)" and "Cops in Shops(R)" are among The Council's programs created to educate middle-school through college students, their parents, teachers, and adult caregivers about the importance of making responsible decisions regarding beverage alcohol. For more information, visit http://www.centurycouncil.org/.

CTIA -- The Wireless Association
CTIA -- The Wireless Association, is an international organization representing all sectors of wireless communications -- cellular, personal communication services and enhanced specialized mobile radio. As a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1984, we represent service providers, manufacturers, wireless data and Internet companies and other contributors to the wireless universe. For more information, visit http://www.ctia.org/.

CTIA -- The Wireless Foundation
The Wireless Foundation is a nonprofit organization established by the members of CTIA -- The Wireless Association to initiate and oversea philanthropic programs that utilize wireless technology to help American communities. For more information, visit http://www.wirelessfoundation.org/.

Teen Arrive Alive
Teen Arrive Alive helps to keep teens safe, which provides parents with considerable peace of mind. Through the Teen Arrive Alive GPS and decal programs parents can now receive immediate input to counsel their teens on safe driving habits and hopefully avoid tragic accidents ... or they will be able to locate lost or missing children right away without precious time delays. Just knowing when you need to act is what makes Teen Arrive Alive so important in helping to keep our teens safe. For more information, visit http://www.teenarrivealive.com/.

The Century Council

CONTACT: Lindsay Law of The Century Council, +1-202-637-0077,Lawl@centurycouncil.org

Web site: http://www.centurycouncil.org/http://www.ctia.org/http://www.wirelessfoundation.
org/http://www.teenarrivealive.com/http://www.prmtxt.org/

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