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Whitewater teen wins car as part of safe driving program

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STANLEY B. MILAM
April 14, 2012
— Who would have thought?

Ten Walworth County high school students participating in Operation Click had a chance to win a 2007 Ford Focus. Take one of 10 keys and see if it starts the car. If it does, you win.


Alyssa Skindingsrude, 17, a Whitewater High School student, was the first contestant up.


“I took a key, and when I put it into the ignition, I heard this dinging noise because the door was open. Then I turned the key and the car started.”


And what will Alyssa do with her “new” car?


“Road trip for sure,” she said. “Now that I have a car that runs and has good tires, I plan to take a couple of friends along and visit friends in Stevens Point.”


Alyssa was the first to draw a key based on her school’s placing in seat belt usage.


“We had the highest seat belt compliance rate of any high school in Walworth County,” said Joe Lynch, a Whitewater High School vice principal and administrator working with the Operation Click program. “That got Alyssa to the head of the line.”


Operation Click asks students to sign a contract agreeing, among other safe driving practices, to always wear a seat belt and never drink and drive or ride with a driver who has been drinking.


More than 100 students at Whitewater High signed up. Alyssa was chosen at random to represent Whitewater at the drawing for the car Wednesday at Lake Lawn Lodge.


“Everybody started screaming when it started, and I just couldn’t believe it,” Alyssa said. “I was so excited.”


“Alyssa is very deserving of this prize,” Lynch said. “She works hard, is a good student and has lived up to all the conditions of the contract and pledge.”


The car was donated by Kunes Country Auto Group and presented to Alyssa by Gregg Kunes.


The Operation Click program has been an annual event in the northern Illinois area for eight years.


”This is the first year we have done it here in Wisconsin,” said Walworth County Sheriff’s Office Captain Scott McClory. “From a law enforcement standpoint, it’s a big benefit that schools are encouraging students to make smart choices. It requires a lot of work by many people, but if it saves just one life, it’s worth it.”


Students from Burlington Catholic Central, Elkhorn, Delavan-Darien, Whitewater, East Troy, Big Foot and Lake Geneva Badger high schools participated in the program.



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