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Tilly's Display Struck Too Close to Home

Sue Hunt LeMay, who lost a son in a DUI crash in 2005, shares her thoughts about the efforts to get a local store to change a window display that depicted binge drinking.

Editor's note: handles membership outreach and development for the Novato Blue Ribbon Coalition for Youth. She lost a son in a 2005 alcohol-related crash on Indian Valley Road in Novato.

student Brienna Polk-Perez is to be applauded for initiating the events that led to Tilly’s pulling its “Get Tanked” window display in Novato and nationwide last week. This is truly an example of how one person can make a difference, a huge positive difference.

Hearing of original the window display, I was angry. It was appalling to me that a national chain marketing to our youth would promote “Get Tanked” as its April theme for spring break. Ironically, April is National Alcohol Awareness Month. What ever happened to good old “fun”? Get outside and move? That certainly would have tied in well to their skate and ski related products.

The image of red Solo cups strewn throughout the display was heart wrenching for me.

The accident report of the teen DUI crash that took the lives of my son, Alex,  and his friend, Scott van Hootegem, flashed in my mind. Teen after teen interviewed spoke of the infamous red Solo cups at the house party for an  18-year-old's birthday.

I am pleased that Tilly’s chose to take down the displays here in Novato and in their other stores.  I hope more companies will think before glamorizing teen drinking.

If you need help on what to say to your youth, attend the Town Hall meeting at Sinaloa Middle School, at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 10 sponsored by the Novato Friday Night Live Chapter and the Novato Blue Ribbon Coalition for Youth. See the attached flier for more details.

Lynne Wasley April 26, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Dear Sue, Thank you for all your efforts with the Novato Blue Ribbon Coalition for Youth and for all your amazing efforts over the years - your courage, compassion and willingness to share your story has surely helped to save the lives of others. Alex would be proud. I am so grateful for you.

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