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On Thursday, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation sponsored an emotional Mothers Against Drunk Driving event during Alpharetta High School's Red Ribbon Week, encouraging the several hundred students in attendance to wait until they are of the legal drinking age to drink, but also, once at that age, being responsible and not drinking and driving.
Angie Macuga, fiancée of Falcons Owner and Chairman Arthur Blank, Chairman, was in the audience, representing the Arthur M. Blank Foundation, while Falcons guard Justin Blalock and former Falcons wide receiver Brian Finneran were there representing the Falcons.
Macuga, along with the teachers, students and visitors packing the auditorium, had to wipe away tears while Taylor and Allie Hood-Sands, sisters of Tyler Sands, told their story about how they lost their older brother to a drunk driver on his 22nd birthday in October 2012.
Their message was simple: "Each of you have the power to make the right choice and not engage in underage drinking, or get in the car with someone who's drunk, or in a couple of years, drink and drive."
For Finneran, a father of four, the Sands' story hit home, further proving to him that no matter what age you are, always have a plan when drinking is involved.
Speaking in front of several hundred teenagers, Finneran told them to figure out a way to remind themselves of the stories they heard. This way, if they are ever in a similar situation where they are intoxicated or they are about to get in the car with someone who is, they can make the responsible choice and call for help.
"If only a handful of kids change their thinking about this, it's worthwhile to get the message out," Blalock said. "They've probably heard it a thousand times, but maybe it's the thousand-and-first time that makes the difference."