Rotarians applaud 'CHOICES' viewing
When they visited the Rotary Club of Crowley last month, Maxine Trahan and Allen “Noochie” Credeur promised this year’s CHOICES video would outdo the year before and major twists would be involved.
They didn’t disappoint.
“The video is amazing,” said Trahan. “I think we outdid ourselves.”
The duo returned Tuesday to let the Rotary Club of Crowley see the main part of the video — a party scene, the crash, the funeral, booking the guilty parties and their trials — and express their gratitude for Rotary and Acadia Parish’s continued support.
“Rayne didn’t do this; Crowley didn’t do this; Midland didn’t do this; Acadia Parish did this,” said Credeur. “We want to thank Acadia Parish for its support.”
In only its second year, CHOICES has grown, and continues to do so, where this year all of Acadia Parish’s high school students saw the video and saw the effects of the choices not only students make but, in a twist, adults who contribute to these circumstances.
In this case, it was a parent purchasing alcohol for a “party” for minors, starting the chain reaction of two deaths, two serious injuries and 11 minor injuries and three — two minors and the parent — being arrested, charged and sentenced in the film.
“This year we arrested a parent as a way to show it’s not okay to provide a haven for kids to drink,” said Trahan.
The room went quiet as the video began to play, beginning with the purchase of the alcohol and the party that started it all. As the first song and images faded, the grim reality of what the choices of drinking and driving as well as distracted driving were shown.
The crash scene, filmed in Rayne, featured students from all of area high schools with one student from each of the schools playing a prominent role in the filming.
As flashbacks from the crash played, the full-circle part of the film were on tap, showing the booking and sentencing of the two teens, one arrested under the state’s texting-while-driving statute, the other arrested for drinking-while-driving.
Judge M’elise Trahan read the sentencing of the two juveniles, while the scenes played out.
The focus of CHOICES then turned to the hospital, where the second student died in the film. Following the film’s viewing, Credeur explained that the student spoke to his high school, Notre Dame, and said the hardest part of filming wasn’t anything he had to do, but instead being strapped down unable to hug his mother, who was crying on his chest.
The video also shows the funeral of the two students killed in the crash and the parent, whose party started it all, being arrested and sentenced.
Since the video’s viewing at the high schools and the word about the events portrayed in CHOICES has gotten out, parents in the area have started realizing the consequences for their choices as well, continuing the goal of bringing awareness and saving lives.
Trahan also announced that they have learned that neighboring parishes have used last year’s video and/or expressed intent to use this year’s video as a learning tool.
Furthermore, some of the students involved will be filming public service announcements that will air year-round and Lafayette’s Acadiana Open Channel has picked up the video and looks to air it many times over a six-week period.