On Monday, May 13th and Tuesday, May 14th, Mason High School, along with many community volunteers and the Student Health Advisory Committee of Mason ISD, presented the Shattered Dreams program.
Around 35 student participants attended a retreat on Monday night at the Eckert Civic Center where they listened to TABC Officer Michael Deans and Deputy Sherriff Lewis Herrington as they discussed legal issues involved in alcohol use among teens, true stories of shattered dreams and the importance of goal setting. Students were able to try on “drunk goggles” and try to drive a golf cart through a set of traffic cones. A wonderful meal was served by SHAC committee members Kyla Rasch and Gail Baker, after which students read letters written to them by their parents and responded in letters of their own. This was an emotional part of the evening, and the students were grateful to have been a part of this event.
On Tuesday afternoon, students, faculty and parents seated in bleachers watched the simulated crash scene unfold as first responders arrived to treat the students wounded in the alcohol related crash, which was directed by Cindy Loeffler. EMS workers transported two students in the ambulance where the simulation continued as a training exercise for the medical personnel at the clinic.
One student was pronounced dead at the scene by the Justice of the Peace, and the parents were notified. The funeral director also arrived on the scene and loaded the victim in the hearse. The drunk driver was handcuffed and arrested by the Mason County Sherriff’s Deputy Lewis Herrington and transported to the Mason County Jail. The scene was very realistic and many in the audience were moved to tears.
Adding to the dramatic aspect of the event were the “living dead,” standing in a half circle around the scene, a further reminder of the numbers of teens killed each year in alcohol related crashes.
Immediately following the crash scene, a mock memorial service was held in the high school auditorium. Hymns were played on the organ as attendees filed past memorial posters showing pictures and obituaries of the Shattered Dreams participants. At center stage was a casket provided by Mason Funeral Home and a floral arrangement from the Petal Patch. Reverend Wade Powell read the obituary of the victim. Speakers at the event included Randy Beckmann of Mason Funeral Home, Chris Habecker, principal of MHS and Chase Schriewer of Air Evac.
The crash scene was filmed by the MHS coaching staff, and a DVD of the event was created by MHS teacher Chris Habecker. The DVD will be shown to the student body in the years to come. Organizers of the even want to thank all of the volunteers who help make this a successful event, especially the caring members of the Mason Volunteer Fire Department and the Mason County EMS. The individuals volunteered their time at their own personal expense.
Financial contributions or in-kind donations were made by Air Evac, Mason Funeral Home, McRanie Wrecker of Brady, Mason Community Foundation, Frontera Healthcare System, the Justice Court of Mason County, the City of Mason, HEB Foods, Hochheim Prairie, Mason Monograms & More, Short Stop and the Petal Patch. The faculty, students and their parents are ever grateful for your involvement.