Group hopes to shock teens into making good decisions

Myrtle Beach, SC - By Greg Argos - bio | email

MYRTLE BEACH, SC  (WMBF) -  "The 99" is here in Myrtle Beach and organizers hope their production will help teens make the right life choices.

The group says the 99 stands for the average number of young people between the ages of 12 and 24 that die each day in the United States because of poor decision making. Both organizers and volunteers with the production say their only goal is to make those that come to this event realize their daily life decisions can have a big impact.

"Some die of natural causes. Some die from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some die from alcohol and drug. Inattention. Texting while driving. He was one of those 99," said Andy Houghtaling, referring to his son D.J., who was stabbed to death on Sept. 8 at an area nightclub.

D.J. is one of the 99 people between the ages of 12 and 24 that the National Center for Disease control estimate die each day from preventable causes. He was 19.

Now a traveling production called The 99 is here in Myrtle Beach. It's goal is to educate young people on safe decision making, and Houghtaling says he knew he had to volunteer his time."

"This is going to make kids say 'Whoa, that could be me,'" he said.

That's just what organizers say they hope happens.

"Some are very emotional, because they've had friends or family members who have been in these incidents or situations, or even themselves," organizer Patrick Evans said. "It's almost like a wake-up call."

The different rooms show different life-decisions and their consequences like drinking and driving or using illegal drugs.

Though some are in line hours before the doors open say they're looking forward to the production, Houghtaling only hopes at least one person's life is changed by it.

"If this can shock them into looking up and opening up their eyes for the first time, then it's well worth it," he said.

The traveling production will be in Myrtle Beach until the end of April.

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