(Transcript)

Cindy Speaker:  Good afternoon and welcome to our show today. My name is Cindy Speaker, I have with me as my guest attorney David Daggett of Daggett Shuler Attorneys at Law.

David Daggett: Hey, Cindy. I’m excited, it’s getting to be that time of year.

Cindy Speaker:  Yes, it is, and I know this is one of your favorite times of year.

David Daggett:  It is one of my favorites, yes.

Cindy Speaker: Well, we’re going to talk about the Safe Sober Prom Night, and David I’d like to start off, tell us a little bit about why you started that very successful program?

David Daggett: Sure. It’s hard to believe Safe Sober Prom Night started 29 years ago.

Cindy Speaker:  Wow.

David Daggett: I was a young 30 year old at the time, and I was a young idealistic lawyer. I had a couple stories, I won’t go into them too deep, about some friends that headed off on the wrong track drinking and driving when they were in high school, combine that with as a young lawyer I felt like I was in a unique position in that I was seeing young people who make one mistake and they kind of threw their life off track, and that’s from drinking and driving. On the flip side, I saw the results or the consequences of those actions that hurt and destroyed families of individual people, and I can’t help but think of your mother.

I never knew your father, but your family lost your father to a drunk driving accident, didn’t know what to do, and so I take that very, very personally. So a young idealist, had some of those memories of friends that went off track coming out of high school in early college years, idealistic, and what I saw was I saw the business community, and I still feel this way, is they don’t do enough to help young people. We need to help young people. That’s our future, that ensures the quality of our communities into the future, and so I wanted to do something. Didn’t know what that was, made up a name “Safe Sober Prom Night,” bought some t-shirts and headed out to high schools, and here we are 29 years later.

Cindy Speaker: That’s amazing, and I applaud you. I love what you said about businesses not doing enough.

David Daggett:  Right.

Cindy Speaker: That challenges every one them, every one of us, certainly me.

David Daggett: Well, this is the real interesting thing, Cindy, and as you know I’ve spoken in national seminars to various groups including lawyers groups, I get asked a lot how much does it cost? Obviously, over 29 years we’ve spent a lot of money on the program, but that’s the wrong question if you really care, because there’s lot of people willing to write a check, what I don’t see businesses doing is putting themselves willing to go out there. The driving mechanism is the attorneys and staff in our law firm personally go to each of the 50 high schools and make a positive impact on these young people. That is what’s missing and what we’re just absolutely committed to as an organization.

Cindy Speaker:  That is amazing, and the reality is there’s very few organizations that will have anywheres near the commitment that you have, so you are exceptional in that way.

David Daggett: But let me tell you another ironic part that I tell them also, is there is a fundamental principle, it’s biblical, it’s part of every religion, is that you have to give to get, and that by giving you in return prosper. It may not be monetarily, but you in return prosper, and so it is a positive for us, and quite frankly despite the chaotic six to eight weeks we have, I still think we get more out of it than we put into it.

Cindy Speaker: Wow, that’s really awesome.

David Daggett: So, a fundamental principle.

Cindy Speaker: Yeah. Very cool. Well, you’ve got some exciting things coming up this Spring, tell us a little bit about that?

David Daggett: Oh! So in the next week or so, this is very exciting, I’m not going to give away any hints now, Cindy, but one of the things that we do every year is we have a student t-shirt design contest. Every year students from all over the triad submit us entries. We typically get in the neighborhood of 200, 250 entries, we go through a completely blind selection process, I can tell you that selection process is just about finalized, and so there is going to be a surprise some place, somewhere, somehow for the t-shirt design winner this year. Their design will be on the front of approximately 15 thousand t-shirts.

Cindy Speaker: Wow.

David Daggett: They will get recognition, the students name and the school on the back of the t-shirt, so it’s a huge, huge deal. In addition to that, the student gets a 500 dollar scholarship, and the classroom, the teacher gets 500 dollars for their school that they can use for their class for, as you know schools struggle with art supplies and just some of basics.

Cindy Speaker: Right. Oh, that’s wonderful.

David Daggett: So 500 dollars for the school, 500 dollars for the student.

Cindy Speaker: Wonderful.

David Daggett:  So it’s an all around big, good event, and it’s probably my most fun thing I do all year long. And Kathryn, who’s sitting right there, and the others laugh at me because I usually choke up and tear up during the presentation.

Cindy Speaker: Aww.

David Daggett: But I just love it, I love the kids, and we think that’s an important driving factor, because positive peer pressure is the number one force driving young people today, and the t-shirt design contest is part of that.

Cindy Speaker: That is great. Well, that’s very exciting.

David Daggett: Oh, it’s real exciting.

Cindy Speaker: It really is.

David Daggett: And then shortly after that we’ll start hitting schools, and 50 schools all across the triad in a six to eight week period. This year’s, hang with us students in schools, this year’s a little bit chaotic because Easter’s late, which means we have proms early and we have proms late, there’s a little bit of a void in the middle, but we’ll, I promise you we’ll get them all covered.

Cindy Speaker: I know you will. You always do.

David Daggett: We might have to rent a helicopter this year, but we’ll get them all covered.

Cindy Speaker: You know, I wouldn’t put that past you, David.

David Daggett: Yeah.

Cindy Speaker: Well, tell us a little bit about the impact, because this is fabulous program.

David Daggett: Now, over the past 29 years, we’re up to over 500 thousand students have taken the pledge to stay safe and sober on prom night, and I guess the best way I can illustrate it is the change that’s occurred over those number of years. When we first started the program I literally had to take a student’s hand and put it to the pledge card to sign the pledge so that they could get their free t-shirt. They would take the t-shirt, stick it inside their jacket or stuff it in their book bag because it wasn’t the cool thing to do, it was a nerdy thing. Fast forward, we have to warn and caution any volunteers that go with us that when the bell rings there’s a stampede of students to get the shirts. Many of the students, they put them on right then and there. They pull them right over the top of whatever they’re wearing and wear them around like a badge of honor.

Cindy Speaker:  That’s awesome.

David Daggett:  Safe Sober has become cool. And then, I have so much fun, as you know my kids have run track and played Spring sports, and as I’m around in the Spring you see the t-shirts just everywhere, the students wearing them with pride. And so-

Safe Sober has become something that’s cool over the 29 years, and a lot of that is because of our principle of positive peer pressure that we keep re energizing every year. And I’m just so proud of those kids, I can’t take it. I think students today, it always drives me nuts when I heard old people like me talk about these young people, and the young people today, they are the best, they’re the brightest, they are the most talented, they are, but what they’re looking for, and they’re looking for it in all of us is for leadership, guidance and direction, to put them on that path to success and to help them out, and I think that’s the magic of the program.

Cindy Speaker: Yeah, I think you’re right. I’ve seen over the years what you create there and what you foster in the students. They love being with you, David. You’re, they really did.

David Daggett: Oh, it’s great. I love being with them.

Cindy Speaker: Yeah, that’s a big part of it.

David Daggett: You can’t fake it, but you can’t hide it either.

Cindy Speaker: Well, I look forward to hearing more about your excitement and all the upcoming activities of this year’s program.

David Daggett: It will be pretty visible everywhere. There’s usually some media coverage, Facebook coverage, you can go to the website SafeSober.com, our firm website DaggettShulerLaw.com, so it’s, there’ll be, it’ll be everywhere, and we’re just excited for another great year. And next year, the 30th anniversary.

Cindy Speaker: Wow.

David Daggett: Which also means I turn 60.

Cindy Speaker: Oh, that’s great! Well, you’ll have to do something big next year.

David Daggett: Well, I still sometimes, I’ve been known to challenge the best athlete in the school to a pushup contest while we’re giving, and so far I haven’t been beat, so I haven’t had a student beat me. Now, I’ve been sore.

Cindy Speaker:  That’s great.

David Daggett: I’ve been sore the next day, but I haven’t been beat yet.

Cindy Speaker: Well, as you get, it might change when you’re 60.

David Daggett: It might, it might.

Cindy Speaker: Well David, just tell us how we can reach your firm if people want to get more information, things like that?

David Daggett:  Sure. DaggettShulerLaw.com and the phone number’s 3-3-6-7-2-4-1-2-3-4. The other thing that I tell people is if you want to be a part of our support team stop by the office and we’ll give you a free t-shirt.

Cindy Speaker: That’s awesome.

David Daggett: And you can proudly wear it and join the circle of support for our young people.

Cindy Speaker:  Oh, I love it.

David Daggett: Yeah.

Cindy Speaker: That’s great.

David Daggett: Yup.

Cindy Speaker: And for those of you watching live or replaying, you can just post your comments, your questions, request a t-shirt right here on this page-

David Daggett: Absolutely.

Cindy Speaker:  And someone will follow up with you.

David Daggett: Absolutely.

Cindy Speaker: David, thanks for being with us, this is great

David Daggett: Okay. Thank you, Cindy, and that’s for your help in promoting Safe Sober Prom Night.

Cindy Speaker: You bet. Thanks everybody for being with us. Have a great day.

 

 

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