Casey's Pledge

April 24, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A South Valley mother sent a powerful message to teenager's right before prom and graduation. Seniors at Tulare Western High School were captivated by the story of an Exeter girl whose life ended too quickly.

Casey Goodwin was only 20-years-old when she was killed by an 18-year-old drunk driver as she was driving home on Highway 41. She was an advocate for Friday Night Live, an organization that encourages kids not to drink and drive. Now, her mom, Lynne, shares with high schoolers Casey's story.

Lynne Goodwin said, "They said, 'We're sorry but there is nothing we can do for your daughter.' And I refused to believe that. Because I am that mom, like your mom, who doesn't believe that you're not worth every ounce."

Some seniors cried hearing Goodwin's story. They even hugged her afterwards. Erin Keller, a senior at Tulare Western H.S. says "I thought it was amazing how she could go through so much pain but use her whole life to try to change others' lives. It was amazing. It really inspired me."

Before they left, the students were asked to fill out a star that had "Casey's Pledge" written on it.

Gene Mendes, Friday Night Live, said "Our message today is not to use alcohol. Not to get into a car with a drinking driver."

Pedro Navajef, a senior, says "It's for a good cause and everybody will benefit from this and it's for a better community."

Friday Night Live also brought Casey's car here to Tulare Western to show just how severe the car crash was. It made a big impact to students after they heard Casey's story.

Goodwin said, "It's important to us on a lot of levels. One, this is our community and while we know that young people cross the country take this pledge, this is home."

She hopes everybody, not just high school students, realizes the risks of drinking and driving.

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