Operation Click Gives Away Three Cars as Teen Deaths Rare in McHenry County

The goal of Operation Click.

The goal of Operation Click:  “to reduce teen fatalities and injuries from motor vehicle crashes by developing safe driving habits through education and positive reinforcement.”

Two car crashes last year killing Huntley teens, plus a twenty-year old from Algonquin, may have led to the formation of an Operation Click chapter covering Dundee-Crown, Huntley, Marengo, Hampshire and Algonquin’s Jacob High School.

During the d’Andrea’s 2013 Operation Click luncheon, the following photos were put on the screen:

Jennifer Kearns, the daughter of Grafton Township Supervisor-Election Jim Kearns was killed in a car crash in February, 2012.

Jennifer Kearns, the daughter of Grafton Township Supervisor-Election Jim Kearn,s was killed in a car crash in February, 2012.

Almost a year ago, Huntley youths Jonathan Lombard, 21, and Ryan Hanks,18, and Algonquin;s Megan Hartigan, 20, died in a car wreck.

Almost a year ago, Algonquin’s Megan Hartigan, 20, died in a car wreck.  Huntley youths Jonathan Lombard, 21, and Ryan Hanks, 18, ended up in critical condition.

After Jennifer Kearns’ death, I published this article:

A Plea to Huntley Adults and a Suggestion of What Can Be Done to Save Teen Lives

Sean McGrath was somewhat taken aback at his birthday being revealed.

Sean McGrath was somewhat taken aback at his birthday being revealed.

I am so thankful that adults in the community and the three school districts stepped up to the plate.

Even with Operation Click up and running in these four new high schools along the McHenry-Kane County line, the donator of the auto backed out five days before Friday’s banquet.

Keegen Zickuhr of Marengo High School won the third car.

These organizations paid for the car for the Huntley Chapter.

Stepping in to fill the void were the Lake in the Hills Rotary Club, Intern of Union and Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital.

(As an aside, it should be noted that Advocate has just acquired Sherman Hospital, which considers Huntley in its service area. With Centegra soon to have a third hospital in McHenry County, I wonder why it is not supporting Operation Click.)

Next year the high schools in Maine Township and three counties in Wisconsin–Brown, Dane and Grant–will join the program.   Madison is in Dane County.  Grant is north of Galena on the Mississippi line and Brown is where the Green Bay Packers call home.

Why are the joining the program?

Because it works and the data proves that.  Look at the statistics from the early days for Crystal Lake’s three high schools:

What Operation Click accomplished from the 1999-2000 school year though the 2005-6 school year.

What Operation Click accomplished from the 1999-2000 school year though the 2005-6 school year.

So, who were the winners this year?

The banquet hall emptied as folks went out into the biting wind for the main event.

The banquet hall emptied as folks went out into the biting wind for the main event.

Harvard’s Jacqueline Jimenez won the first car.

Jacqueline Jimenez is interviewed after her key started the car.  Radio reporter Stew Cohen is one interviewing her.

Jacqueline Jimenez is interviewed after her key started the car. Radio reporter Stew Cohen is one interviewing her.  Kunns Country Auto Group donated the vehicle.

Next to win a car was Cary-Grove High School student Susan Taddy.

Donor of the car for the Crystal Lake Chapter of Operation Click Rik Fregia poses with Cary-Grove High School student winner Susan Taddy.

Donor of the car for the Crystal Lake Chapter of Operation Click Rik Fregia poses with Cary-Grove High School student winner Susan Taddy.

Finally, Keegen Zickuhr of Marengo High School heard his key turn over the motor of a car.

Keegan Zickuhr of Marengo High School won the third car.

Keegan Zickuhr of Marengo High School won the third car.

After the main event, which was quite hurried this year because of the 28 degree wind chill factor, the runners-up went inside for their consolation prizes, gift cards from Walmart and Buffalo Wings.

There was also networking.

Sean McGrath chatted with Marengo High School Athletic Director Chad Olson and Student Council advisor Dan Schirmer.

Sean McGrath chatted with Marengo High School Athletic Director Chad Olson and Student Council advisor Dan Schirmer.

A couple of final items.

Matt Eby got his picture taken for having gotten the Board Award.

Matt Eby got his picture taken for having gotten the Board Award. (Yes, I applied red out, but it didn’t work well enough.)

McGrath pulled a roll reversal on photographer Matt Eby. While Eby serves on the Operation Click Board, his colleagues managed to keep him in the dark about his having been awarded the Board Award.

And Student of the Year was Emily Olivera.

Emily Olivera was selected as Student of the Year.

Emily Olivera was selected as Student of the Year.

With a better camera, Matt Eby got the following photos of the winners:

Another view of Harvard High School winner Jacqueline Jimenez, this time by Matt Eby.

Another view of Harvard High School winner Jacqueline Jimenez, this time by Matt Eby.

Matt Eby took this photo of Susan Taddy getting out of her new car.

Matt Eby took this photo of Susan Taddy getting out of her new car.

Keegan Zichuhr was the third winner.  Photo credit:  Matt Eby.

Keegan Zichuhr was the third winner. Photo credit: Matt Eby.


Comments

Operation Click Gives Away Three Cars as Teen Deaths Rare in McHenry County — 2 Comments

  1. Thanks for this great round-up of this program.

    These events certainly cap off a tremendous year for the students who work so hard to promote safe driving choices.

    We appreciate your ongoing support for Operation Click.

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