By Kara Hallissey, Staff Writer
(Nov. 2, 2017) The largest fundraiser of the year for Play It Safe will take place at a new location, Nick’s House of Ribs on 144th Street, Thursday, Nov. 2, from 5-8 p.m.
Organizers changed this year, with Nick’s providing the food and two dinner options available, including a half-rack of ribs or a single Maryland crabcake with two sides, bread and dessert. Chicken fingers or ribs will be available for children.
An assortment of homemade desserts will be provided by organizers as well as beverages and there will be a full cash bar.
“The [Play It Safe] project targets young high school visitors,” said co-organizer Donna Greenwood. “We try to provide an alternative to risky behavior. The committee is all volunteers and they all work very hard.”
There will be a silent auction going on until 7:45 p.m. featuring hotel stays, golf packages, gift certificates, autographed sports items, restaurant and local business gift cards, clothing, jewelry, a manicure and pedicure.
In addition, attendees can check out a number of gift baskets with movie, margarita, baby, wine and baking themes or purchase 50/50 raffle tickets throughout the event.
More than 100 people attend the annual event every year, which was primarily an Italian feast since its inception. Organizers wanted to offer something different and Nick’s House of Ribs owner, Scott Heise, volunteered to help.
“Our mission is to encourage high school graduates to make informed, healthy choices while having responsible fun without the use of alcohol and other drugs,” Greenwood said.
Close to a dozen Stephen Decatur High School Connections Club students will be on hand to clear tables and serve beverages, she said.
“Visiting Ocean City for senior week is a longstanding tradition,” Greenwood said. “People have been coming down since the ‘50s, if not sooner, and our project gives these kids an alternative to partying and getting in trouble. The events provide a safe environment [for graduates.] We also have a miniature golf tournament in the first week of March.”
Tickets for the dinner will be available at the door and cost $15 for adults, $6 for youth 4-9 years old, and children under 4 eat for free.
For more information, contact Greenwood at 410-289-7060.
The Play It Safe program is an effort to prevent high school graduates from choosing drugs or alcohol while on their senior week in Ocean City during the month of June. The nonprofit provides free events for high school-aged visitors, while encouraging them to make informed and healthy choices.
Since its inception 28 years ago, more than 186,000 teenagers have signed up for Play It Safe’s free activities. The 2017 program featured 37 events including kayaking, basketball, tennis, pizza-eating contests, dodgeball, paddle boarding, Karaoke, bowling, laser tag, beach volleyball, indoor and outdoor miniature golf and T-shirt tie-dying during June.
Participants also visited Splash Mountain Water Park at Jolly Roger on 30th Street and had the chance to ride the Tidal Wave roller coaster at Trimper’s Rides and Amusements.
The Worcester County Health Department, Ocean City Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Committee and Town of Ocean City coordinated the 2017 program with support from local businesses and organizations.
For more information about Play It Safe visit http://playitsafeoceancity.com.