OCEAN CITY – The Play It Safe program kicks off on Tuesday providing high school graduates with free and safe activities to do around town.
“This is our 22nd year of providing drug and alcohol free events for the graduates,” Play It Safe Coordinator Donna Greenwood said. “We started out very small with a dance at the Ocean Pines Beach Club and then it just mushroomed from there and now we have 60 events to offer these young grads coming to town to celebrate this big milestone in their lives.”
Greenwood said the program can have anywhere from 13,000 to 14,000 graduates participate. High schools graduates come from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Delaware take part in the events.
Play it Safe’s events begin May 31 with a beach volleyball tournament and continue through June 17. Other activities include, karaoke, pancake and pizza eating contests, mini golf, basketball and tennis tournaments, trips to Splash Mountain waterpark, bowling, dodge ball, laser tag, rock climbing, paintball, tye-dye T-shirt design, windsurfing and kayaking.
“For the first time, we are going to have a ride at Trimper’s [Amusement Park],” Greenwood said. “We are going to have a rollercoaster ride so we’re excited about that.”
Last year’s new event was the tye-dye T-shirt design with the Art League of Ocean City. The event was so successful that it was added to the calendar of events twice this year.
“We had bought 100 shirts and we had to go out and buy more that day because we didn’t have enough,” Greenwood said.
Also new this year is free bus pass wristbands. Graduates can pick up the wristbands at any Play It Safe event.
“We are thrilled to death to be able to offer the kids the wristbands to be able to ride the bus for free,” Greenwood said. “The town has agreed to allow us to do that this year and we just feel that is a tremendous safety issue not just for the kids but for our residents and visitors as well.”
Play It Safe is supported and administered by the Worcester County Health Department and is planned and sponsored by the Ocean City Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Committee.
“It is truly a partnership with the Town of Ocean City and the Worcester County Health Department,” Greenwood said. “We work with representatives from the health department all year long.”
High school graduates should keep an eye out for Play It Safe booklets that contain over 47 money saving coupons.
“It has been the mission of the Play It Safe project to encourage these kids to make good decisions and make good choices while they’re here,” Greenwood said. “It may be the first time they’re on their own and have responsible fun without the use of alcohol or other drugs.”