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Car wash benefits safe rides for students

Aug. 2, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Want to have a cleaner car and help make Kalamazoo streets safer?

Western Michigan University students are washing cars Sunday, Aug. 8, from noon to 6 p.m. to raise money for Drive Safe Kalamazoo, an organization that provides free rides for students to reduce the potential for drunk driving in the Kalamazoo area.

The car wash will be held in the parking lot at Wal-Mart on 9th Street near the intersection with West Main Street in Oshtemo Township. Wal-Mart is matching all donations made at Sunday's fund raiser.

Drive Safe Kalamazoo provided 6,200 safe rides for students during the 2003-04 school year, its first year of operation. At the Student Awards Banquet in April, DSK was named "Student Organization of the Year."

The concept for Drive Safe Kalamazoo originated as a class project about two years ago. Three of the current DSK members created a hypothetical organization, which has become a reality. With the help of Paul Yelsma, professor of communication, and Victor Manzon, director of student conduct, DSK applied for and received status as a registered student organization.

Drive Safe Kalamazoo's purpose is to help make Kalamazoo a safer community. DSK gives free rides home to WMU students and their friends without asking questions about why they need a ride. DSK does not condone underage drinking, but recognizes that the underage population will drink and potentially drive, which poses a risk to the community.

DSK operates Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. during fall and spring semesters. Student volunteers work in teams of two to provide safe rides home for students who call and request a ride.

More about Drive Safe Kalamazoo is available on the Web at <www.rso.wmich.edu/dsk>.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

WMU News
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