OFFICE OF FIRST LADY CAROL MEAD
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Wyoming First Lady Carol Mead is running in the ING New York City Marathon November 4, 2012. She is running as part of a charity team whose mission is to reduce underage drinking and impaired driving.
“There are many ways we in Wyoming can improve the lives of our young people. Matt and I believe reducing risky behavior is a key part of this overall effort,” First Lady Mead said. She is running in the marathon with other Wyoming people on a team benefiting the charity Mariah’s Challenge. This charity challenges young people to stay alcohol free and to stay out of vehicles driven by someone who has been drinking. Students who meet the challenge and do not receive a Minor in Possession are eligible to apply for a scholarship. Mariah’s Challenge started in Montana. “Mariah’s Challenge has come up with a great concept for keeping kids from using alcohol and I see many opportunities to bring a similar effort to Wyoming,” said Mrs. Mead.
At today’s announcement Mrs. Mead will receive a ceremonial bib for the 2012 ING New York City Marathon. That bib will recognize the eight cross country runners from the University of Wyoming killed in 2001. “The loss of these young men profoundly impacted many of us in Wyoming. Our state is small in population but large in empathy, and this tragedy shook our community. It will be an honor to run in their memory and I hope doing so will be a reminder to our young people to avoid risky behaviors like underage alcohol use and impaired driving, and to live healthy lifestyles.”
Two parents, Debbie McLeland whose son Morgan and Kerry Shatto whose son Shane were among the eight cross country runners killed on September 16, 2001, will attend the announcement with the First Lady. “The Governor’s Council on Impaired Driving is a positive force to ensure that Wyoming has policies needed to decrease drunken driving. I see an opportunity, as First Lady, to help educate young people and parents about the tragic consequences of impaired driving graphically illustrated by the loss of Shane, Morgan, Kyle, Cody, Joshua, Justin, Kevin and Nick who were killed by a drunk driver. This tragedy illustrates how each one of us can make choices to prevent drinking and driving and make our roads safer. I thank Debbie, Kerry and the other parents for all the efforts they have put into this cause and I look forward to working with them in the years ahead.”
Mrs. Mead also thanks former First Lady Nancy Freudenthal and so many others for their efforts to stem underage drinking, “Judge Freudenthal did some very impactful work at raising awareness for this cause. I am hoping to carry the torch forward.” First Lady Carol Mead’s own initiative - children’s literacy - is aimed at promoting education and healthy behaviors. Mrs. Mead hopes her work will help our children – from preschoolers to high schoolers – thrive and make good choices in school, social settings and at home. She is pleased to embark on a campaign of education and advocacy to reduce underage alcohol use and impaired driving. She feels this is also important to the well-being of kids.
New York Road Runners Director of Media Relations, Richard Finn, who will attend today’s event, notes that the marathon has a tremendous impact on charities nationwide. “Last year the ING New York City Marathon raised $34 million for approximately 300 charities across the country,” Finn said. “We are so excited to have First Lady Carol Mead running this year to benefit Mariah’s Challenge and just as excited to explore a relationship between the First Lady and the Marathon in the future.”
This year is the 43rd running of the ING New York City Marathon. There will be approximately 47,000 people participating. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN2.