Teens raise money in effort to stop distracted driving

Texting while driving is a major concern on today’s roadways but Greenwich High School students did their part to stop distracted driving in June, raising $2,200 for the cause.

On June 14 and 18, teams of drivers sped around the track at Grand Prix New York competed in a 90-minute endurance race in a first-of-its-kind fund-raising event for Project Yellow Light, an organization that inspires teens to educate each other about the dangers of distracted driving. The event, organized by Greenwich High School Students Ben Albano and Beau Dealy, raised $2,200.

“Our age group needs to take the lead in putting a stop to distracted driving,” Ben said in a press release. “By raising funds and holding this event we hope to help further the cause of Project Yellow Light.”

Julie Garner, with her husband and daughter, founded Project Yellow Light after losing her son, Hunter, in a car crash six years ago, at the age of 16.

“We are so thrilled and honored with this amazing community effort,” Ms. Garner said. “Ben Albano and Beau Dealy have done something very special here in raising awareness of distracted driving, the number one killer of our youth in this nation. This is actually the first time anyone has ever done a fund-raiser on behalf of our effort and we are absolutely blown away and humbled. I just can’t tell you how much it means to us.”

Sixty-two participants, including high school students from Fairfield and Westchester counties, a team of Skip Barber Racing School mechanics, and three teams of firefighters from Greenwich competed in the race, with the top finishers taking home trophies and prizes. GT Class winners (more experienced drivers) were Paige Jockimo of Somers, N.Y. in first place, as the only one-person team; Skip Barber mechanics of Lime Rock in second place; and teammates Addison Albano of Greenwich and Alex Eickelbeck of Armonk, N.Y. in third place. Pro Class winners were teammates Oliver Coates, Mike Fong and Chris Freda of Greenwich in first place; teammates Peter Smith, Jack Benenson and Hamid Salehzadeh of Greenwich in second place; and teammates Owen Gerber and Max Weiss of Greenwich in third place.

“Grand Prix New York wanted to host and sponsor this fund-raiser for Project Yellow Light because we know that while driving karts is fun, being on the road is serious business,” said Grand Prix New York Vice President Nat Mundy. “We have a perfect opportunity here to capture the attention of young drivers and help educate them about the dangers and potential consequences of distracted driving.”

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