Grim Reaper Visits Staples

Yesterday was Grim Reaper Day at Staples.

Three days before Junior Prom — and a month before Senior Prom and graduation — the Teen Awareness Group organized its 11th annual powerful educational event.

The walls were plastered with scary — and graphic — informational posters. A demolished car was parked outside.

Tyler Head thought he could drive home from a bar.

Tyler Head thought he could drive home from a bar.

But a 20-minute video was the centerpiece of the day.

Six people — most with Staples connections — told their harrowing stories on camera.

Marc Sholes described breaking his neck, and the agonizing years that followed, when he rode in a car driven by a drunk Staples friend.

Tyler Head got in an accident a couple of minutes from home, driving drunk. In the aftermath, his fiancee left him.

Current senior Sylvie Lexow talked about her father’s drinking and driving — and what followed.

Teacher Cathy Dancz had to identify her brother’s body, and pick out a coffin. Her kids will never have an uncle or cousins.

Cathy Dancz's life was shattered when her brother died.

Cathy Dancz’s life was shattered when her brother died.

Josh Reed left Staples to ride, high, in a car that raced down Sturges Highway. He marvels no one died.

And 1st responder Jason Bernstein helped carry 4 friends out of mangled metal. He was there as they drew their last breaths, choking on their own blood and teeth.

TAG — led by 12th grade filmmaker/editor Grace Kosner, with help from Gabbie LeBlanc, Meghan Lonergan, Caitlin Hoberman and Kendall Rochlin — has produced a stunning video.

The video is below. It’s hard to watch. But it could be the most important 20 minutes of your week.

Or — if it saves a life — ever.

(Click here if your browser does not take you directly to Vimeo.)


10 responses to “Grim Reaper Visits Staples

  1. marc sholes

    Dan, how can i post this on facebook? thank you for putting it your blog

  2. Dan Donovan

    Powerful. TAG continues to do great things by bringing this discussion front and center, and yes, it makes a huge difference.

  3. Taylor, Charlie

    Thanks for this gift to high school and college students.


    Charles Taylor
    Director of Major Gifts
    Vanderbilt University
    School of Engineering
    Mailing address:
    PMB 401531
    Nashville, TN 37240-1531

  4. John Nathan

    Thank you TAG and thanks Dan for posting.

  5. Andi White

    May I share this on Facebook?


    Sent from my iPhone


  6. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    Powerful education, indeed, for people of all ages.
    I’m sure that everyone knows of someone harmed, paralyzed, or killed by senselessness.
    I certainly remember Laurie Clark (Staples ’76).
    And, I remember my cousin Nancy, killed at age seven while walking to school.
    Utter senselessness.

  7. Suzanne Raboy

    If any of your friends/acquaintances have trouble understanding why drinking and driving is a bad idea, the attached should sober them up…quick.

    xxoo Mom

    PS. I am so grateful you are walking the path you have found and helping me do the same.

  8. Aylah Foureste

    My dear friends Danny Fluet and Mike Oldfield died the year we were to graduate. I am class of 1980.