OCEAN CITY – This weekend marks a great cause for celebration to the Ocean City Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Committee because it will mark the 20th anniversary of Play It Safe for high school graduates.
This is a drug- and alcohol-free project with over 60 free events for the current year’s high school graduates who are in Ocean City. The mission of Play It Safe is to encourage these young people to make informed, healthy choices while having fun without the use of alcohol or other drugs.
The Ocean City Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Committee was established at the request of then Gov. William Donald Schaefer, who wanted prevention measures set up across the state of Maryland. Former Mayor Roland E. "Fish" Powell asked leaders of the Ocean City community to become members of this committee. Quite a few of those original members are still active today.
Twenty years ago, Play It Safe entertained a couple hundred graduates and has built a project that in 2008 served 13,185 young residents and visitors to Ocean City. The success of this project can be attributed to the firm commitment and dedication of its partners, the Ocean City Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Committee, the Worcester County Health Department and the Town of Ocean City. Each entity compliments and supports the others to make this project benefit not only the graduates but the residents and other visitors of Ocean City.
The Ocean City Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Committee is mostly a volunteer group which represents a cross section of the local community with representatives from law enforcement, education, recreation, health care, juvenile services, business, local community and civic organizations.
The committee works tirelessly from the end of one year’s activities to plan for the following year. Among those Play It Safe events are beach volleyball, miniature golf tournaments, karaoke, basketball, windsurfing, moonlight bowling, paintball, laser tag, splash mountain, tennis and pancake and pizza eating contests. All of these activities are entirely free for the graduates.
The Town of Ocean City allows the committee to give the grads a wristband to ride the bus for free, as well, thus keeping them and the citizens of the town safe from accidents and harm.
Seventy-five thousand Play It Safe booklets are printed with a grant from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. They are distributed to high schools in all Maryland counties by either the Prevention Coordinator or the Safe and Drug Free Schools Coordinator. The events, Play It Safe T-shirts, prizes, food and beverages are funded through the generosity of local businesses, individuals, community and civic organizations.
Schedule of Events
Sundays, May 31, June 7 and 14
Karaoke, from 6-8 p.m., Dorchester Street and the Boardwalk, individual and group competition. Rain location is H202 on Worcester Street.
Mondays, June 1, 8 and 15
–Windsurfing, 10 a.m.-noon, 48th Street, Water Sports Center
— Kayak Relays, starting at 4 p.m., 48th Street Water Sports Center
— Moonlight Bowling, first 288 people, starting 9 p.m., Ocean Lanes, 72nd Street
— Indoor and Outdoor Miniature Golf, 10 p.m.-midnight, Old Pro Golf, 68th Street
Tuesdays, June 2, 9 and 16
— Beach Volleyball Tournament, Dorchester St., signups at 4:30 p.m., games from 6 p.m. until
— Karaoke, 5 p.m.-until, Dorchester St. and Boardwalk
— Pancakes for all, plus Pancake Eating Contest, first 25 boys and first 25 girls, 10 p.m.-midnight, Happy Jack Pancake House, 26th Street
Wednesdays, June 3, 10 and 17
— Miniature Golf Tournament, noon-3 p.m., Maui Golf, 57th Street
— 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, signs up at 7 p.m. followed by games 8 p.m. until, Northside Park, 125th Street
— Buccaneer’s Booty Miniature Golf, 9-11 p.m., 146th Street, bayside
Thursdays, June 4, 11 and 18
— Dodgeball, Cardio, Racquetball, Weights & Swimming, 9-11 p.m., OC Health and Racquet Club, 61st Street
–Laser Tag, first 200 starting 11 p.m., Planet Maze/Laser Storm, 33rd Street
— Miniature Golf & Rock Climbing, 11 p.m.-1 p.m., Planet Maze/Laser Storm, 33rd Street
Fridays, June 5, 12 and 19
— Tennis Tournament, 1-3 p.m., Ocean City Tennis Center, 61st Street
— Paintball, first 200, starting 9 p.m., OC Paintball (next to Baja Amusements)
— Pizza Eating Contest, 9 p.m., OC Paintball
Saturday, June 13
— Sandcastle Clinic, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Carousel Hotel, 117th Street, rain date-Sunday, June 14
Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June 14
— Ocean City Air Show at 16th Street and the beach, noon-4 p.m.