OCEAN CITY – Play It Safe 2012 is eagerly preparing for the thousands of high school graduates that will visit Ocean City this summer.
This week the Mayor and City Council approved a list of events to keep the high school graduates busy while they are in town.
This summer will be the 23rd Annual Play It Safe. Donna Greenwood of the OC Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Committee describes the event as a program to encourage high school graduates to make good choices and to have responsible fun in Ocean City without alcohol and drugs.
“We have just about 50 events planned this year for the high school graduates that come to Ocean City to visit,” Greenwood said. “It is a way not to only entertain them but to distract them, keep them out of trouble, and keep them from making poor choices in doing something detrimental to them and detrimental to our town.”
During last summer’s Play It Safe, there were 11,645 participants, 16 states represented, 75,000 Passports to Fun printed and distributed in Ocean City across the State of Maryland and beyond, and 47 free planned events, including karaoke, indoor miniature golf, windsurfing, kayaking, midnight bowling, basketball, outdoor mini golf, volleyball, Splash Mountain Water Sports Park, paintball, tennis, laser tag, rock climbing, pancake and pizza eating contests, dodge ball and two tie-dye T-shirt design events.
Something new last year was the town had decided to sponsor free bus rides for the graduates and this week the Mayor and City Council were interested to know how well that provision was put to use.
Greenwood said out of the almost 12,000 graduates that participated in Play It Safe last summer there were about 5,000 that applied for the wristbands to ride the bus for free.
“Teens are the riskiest drivers and by getting them off the streets and on the buses, especially if they have made a poor choice … better there than behind the wheel of a car,” Greenwood said. “We have been so fortunate. I don’t know how many years it’s been now, well over 10 years, since we have had any major incidents or loss of life here and I think part of that is due to the fact that Ocean City welcomes these kids, the Mayor and City Council allows us to do these events on city property.”
Greenwood also said the O.C Drug and Alcohol Prevention 5th Annual March Madness Mini Golf Tournament to benefit Play it Safe 2012 will be held on Monday, March 12, 7 p.m. at the Old Pro Golf on 136th Street.