Turns out the folks at the Press weren't the only ones surprised when West High School decided to (for unknown reasons) not host the Every 15 Minutes anti-drunken driving program this year. It also caught former participants off guard.
Hotchkiss Mortuary, located on Highland Avenue in old-town Tracy, has provided a hearse, a casket and the use of its facility for past local renditions of Every 15. Just another Tracy institution who contributes time and material support to make sure kids get the best education possible.
According to Lou, who runs the mortuary, "We dedicate our time to it, because it's very important." He added that the kids who have been part of the program in the past have been exemplary and provided "a great service to their fellow students."
So he said he was "surprised" when West decided to eschew Every 15.
One reason I've surmised is that, the last time it was West High's "turn" to host the event, it was canceled in favor of something less hard-hitting. West student Mike Ucci had recently died in a car accident in front of the high school campus, and many people thought the real-life death was enough to drive home the message of teen driving safety.
Perhaps that hiatus, which at the time was supposed to be temporary, was enough to put the Every 15 event out of mind. But if that's so, it should be brought back to West High. If, of course, the state reimbursement grants are still available come 2012.