‘Cut loose’ from drunk driving: ‘Footloose’ raising money for SafeRides

Published: Feb. 8, 2019 at 11:28 AM CST
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Students at Southwest High School in Green Bay are putting on their dancing shoes, all for a good cause.

There’s no dancing allowed in “Footloose,” and no drunk driving allowed either.

“It's nice to tie it together, and then it just reaches more out in the community,” says senior Matthew Wautier, who plays lead role of Ren McCormack.

“Footloose,” the winter musical at Southwest High School, highlights the tragedy that drinking and driving can bring.

With that, student are using their performance to raise money for SafeRides home.

“The person drunk driving, it’s not just necessarily them. But the people that are driving past them, or it’s other people,” Wautier says. “The drunk driver could end up being fine, but it’s the people that are on the roads, and their families, and stuff like that.”

“It's a thing that's going to happen in the future. I mean we're all approaching that age, so as much as we can get the word out about it, and get that kind of into their heads before they start drinking, and driving. And that hopefully never happens, but if it does, just get that seed planted in their heads,” says Marissa Cutlan, a senior who plays Rusty.

In the last year, more than 91,000 SafeRides were taken across the state, taking 250 potential drunk drivers off the road, daily.

“I think it's a big problem, especially in Green Bay with all the festivals and all of the games and stuff like that. Where we do have a passion, almost, for drinking here in Wisconsin. And we have to drive. And unfortunately, those don't go together,” says “Footloose” director Tiffany Uitenbroek.

The SafeRide program is free at participating Brown County Tavern League bars, meaning there’s no reason not to take one.

That’s the message cast, crew and the Brown County Tavern League are hoping to get across.

“It's just a testament to this younger generation, how they're much more aware of how to be much more responsible in situations like this,” says Don Mjelde, president of the Brown County Tavern League.

“Footloose” opens Friday night, and runs until next weekend. Ticket prices range from $7 to $12.

If you’re interested in using the SafeRide, check ahead of time to make sure the Brown County bar is participating. When you’re ready to head home, contact a bartender, and they will arrange a free Lyft or taxi ride home.