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Wednesday April 23, 2014
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Reduced Tolerance

 

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It was the latest in a series of accidents involving area youths, vehicles, and booze over the past decade.

Now, a local philanthropist has given Chelsea unprecedented funding for a campaign to combat teen drinking. Investor and venture capitalist Mike Coghlan and his wife, Suzi, donated $500,000 through their foundation at Chelsea Community Hospital to create a program called "SRSLY"-text-message shorthand for "seriously."

The name is just one of the ways the program tries to reach young people on their turf. A paid marketing campaign, devised by local ad agency Edgar Norman Creative, features SRSLY's edgy logo-which resembles license plate letters-and its bright lime-green color scheme. The program's prevention messages can be found on its website ( srslychelsea.org), Facebook page, street pole banners, brochures, posters, T‑shirts, wristbands, and temporary tattoos.

"Youth substance abuse prevention can be a difficult message to send," says Therese Doud, substance abuse prevention coordinator for Washtenaw and Livingston counties. She says SRSLY is doing a good job of building brand identity and recognition of its message for a technology-savvy generation.

But the message also needs to reach parents.

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