Play it Safe Numbers Encouraging

OCEAN CITY – Senior week is a popular time here in Ocean City and this week at the Mayor and City Council meeting, Donna Greenwood, Chair Ocean City Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Committee, did a wrap up of this year’s ‘Play It Safe’ program.

“Play It Safe is a project for the graduates who come to Ocean City to celebrate the occasion in their lives,” said Greenwood. “This was the 21st year we carried out events for the high school graduates. It is quite unusual for a project of this kind to carry on this long, but it is to the credit of the Mayor and City Council, the Worcester Health Department, and to the Ocean City Community and volunteers, to them it has been able to go on a very long time.”

According to Play It Safe there was 9,900 participants this past year, 23 states were represented, including Canada and the District of Columbia. Senior, Gabby Cammarata, from Fallston High School in Fallston, Md., won the T-shirt design contest. There were 75,000 ‘Passports to Fun’ printed and distributed in Ocean City, across the State of Maryland and beyond. Free events, all 58 of them, included karaoke, indoor/outdoor mini golf, windsurfing, kayaking, midnight bowling, basketball, volleyball, paintball, tennis, laser tag, rock climbing pancake and pizza eating contests, dodge ball, and a tie-dye T-shirt design event. Weather was really cooperative this year and only one event, outdoor mini golf, was canceled due to rain.

Over 300 businesses, organizations, and individuals contributed money and prizes for this year’s event and volunteers played a major role. There were 68 volunteers that gave over 521 hours of their time for the implementation of Play It Safe. Members of the Ocean City Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Committee, Inc. as well as, agencies such as, Worcester County Health Department, Public Works, and Transportation, contributed countless hours to make the events a success.

Despite the success there is a grievance of the Play It Safe committee.

“We really feel like it is necessary to say something about the disappointment in the loss of bus passes,” Greenwood said.

Free bus passes had been given to the seniors in previous years but that had recently changed.

“Some years ago, we did have many tragedies on our highways, and to combat that we asked the Mayor and City Council that they would consider giving us bus passes to let the kids ride the bus and that has been very successful,” she said. “We had those type of events occur here in Ocean City and we certainly don’t want them. But, since you have allowed giving our participants bus passes there hasn’t been any major tragedy, thank goodness.”