I have worked in the alcohol-related social responsibility realm for 19 years. As a public relations specialist, I have been blessed to use my professional skills on a project that means so much to me personally. It combines my deep passions for health and fitness, educating kids of all ages, and specifically reducing the misuse of alcohol. A pretty unique combination: fitness; kids, PR, and promoting responsibility.
I am a 49-year-old working mom with two teenagers. I am in the best physical fitness shape of my life having recently completed my first sprint triathlon. I have always been active and was raised in a household where a family vacation meant hiking a portion of the John Muir trail in the Sierra Nevadas. My dad set the example and by the time I was 20, in addition to running many road races together, including an annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, we scaled Mt. Whitney (highest peak in the continental U.S.) together. Running and being active in many sports is what I do to feel good both physically and mentally.
I also grew up in a household where alcohol was misused. Not only did the negative consequences affect me, both of my parents grew up in households where there was problem drinking. I witnessed the devastation the misuse of alcohol can cause and the destruction reeked on families, specifically mine. I made a vow that this would never happen to my kids or me. The pattern needed to be broken.
While my husband and I do enjoy alcohol occasionally, we drink in a moderate and responsible manner. I never wanted to ban it from my life, just make sure that it did not control my life. I also wanted to make sure that I set a good example for my kids. My oldest just turned 16 and the issue of underage drinking is a constant and ongoing conversation. While my daughter may not be drinking, a lot of her peers are.
I continue to work with The Century Council and am involved in their award-winning campaigns to insure that kids are educated about underage drinking and its consequences. I love kids and this gives me an opportunity to visit schools across the country and learn about all the new efforts to keep kids healthy, from both The Century Council and many other leading organizations. Pretty good for a mom of two teens to get to see this information first-hand!
I am proud of the work that the industry has done to fight drunk driving and underage drinking. I have had a first row seat in changing the reception of these industry initiatives over the years. The Century Council’s programs are now in demand more than ever and our efforts are working. Oh, and I will admit that getting to work with their Ask, Listen and Learn Superstars in person was just the extra motivation I needed to get on the bike and get going on a triathlon!
Dana Fudurich, Field Representative for The Century Council