Freshman Impact hosts community day

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - A program aimed at saving teen lives through interactive and preventative education invited the whole community out on Saturday afternoon to show them what their program is all about.

Freshman Impact, a program used in 60 districts spanning five states, started in the Black Hills and aims at keeping impressionable youth out of trouble.

The founder of the program, Richard McPherson, says he began this program in 2003 because as a former Pennington County Sheriff's Office Deputy in Wall, he saw the need.

"Just an awful lot of drinking with teenagers and I got depressed at looking at that and we had a good friend who's a defense attorney for the federal government and she encouraged me to start a prevention program and from there it grew."

To help fund these efforts, they partnered up with the Black Hills Orthopedic & Spine Center and the Black Hills Surgical Hospital to host a day full of activities on the hospital campus that families could participate in, as well as raise money for the organization.

People could go through a drunk driving simulator with beer goggles and a collision course, the South Dakota and Wyoming Highway Patrol hosted rollover simulations and the Rockerville Fire Department showed kids how they put out different types of fires.

All of this was done, with one goal in mind.

"Our mission is to save lives and prevent injuries and that's exactly what our goal should be as orthopedic surgeons," said Dr. Stuart Fromm, Orthopedic Surgeon with the Black Hills Orthopedic & Spine Center. "So our goals are the same, saving lives and preventing injuries."

Anyone interested in getting involved, can check out Freshman Impact online.