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In an attempt to keep New Richmond's teens safe and focused while driving, WESTconsin Credit Union and the New Richmond School District are hosting the "Remember Alex Brown," don't text and drive presentation.

The Oct. 25 presentation, put on by Johnnie Mac and Jeanne Brown, tells the story of Alex Brown, their daughter, who died in 2009 in a single car accident her senior year - a result of texting and driving.

"We lost our daughter, Alex Brown, in a single-car accident as she drove to what seemed like just another ordinary day of her senior year in high school. Although no other vehicles were involved, Alex was not alone," the flier says. "The cell phone on which she had sent and received over 10,000 text messages in the weeks preceding her accident was with her. Alex lost her life to texting while driving. Although Alex is no longer with us, her memory lives. We hope you choose to do the same. Through Alex's memory we hope to educate others about the dangers of texting while driving."

Marie Gremore, vice president of WESTconsin Credit Union, said she felt compelled to bring the Brown family to New Richmond after learning about them from a coworker.

"He was telling me about them and telling me their story and I thought it would be awesome if we could bring them here," she said.

Gremore said that while it's taken her some time to get the details worked out, the timing of the presentation could not have worked out better - in light of a recent crash that claimed the lives of three New Richmond teenagers.

"Just looking through the (Remember Alex Brown Foundation's) website, I realized this could be any one of us," she said. "We're hoping for a really good turnout."

The Brown family will actually speak twice, Gremore said. The first presentation will take place during the day and the entire student body at New Richmond High School will attend. Another presentation will take place at 7 p.m. at the high school auditorium. There is no cost to attend; however, Gremore said free will donations will be accepted.

WESTconsin Credit Union is currently in the donation-seeking phase and hopes to raise about $5,000 to donate to the Remember Alex Brown Foundation, along with paying for travel expenses.

Anyone with an interest in donating to the cause can contact Marie Gremore, vice president of WESTconsin Credit Union, at 715-246-2068, ext. 7536 or send a check, payable to RAB Foundation to WESTconsin Credit Union, P.O. Box 269, New Richmond, Wis 54017.

Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
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