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.