Ocean City High School will be "Going Purple" on Jan. 22 to kick off Project Purple, an anti-substance abuse awareness program created by former NBA basketball player Chris Herren.
The Project Purple kickoff will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 22, during the 7 p.m. boys’ basketball game against St Augustine Prep.
The event will be the second time Chris Herren will address students and parents of the district. Chris Herren first spoke at two assemblies last April that were met with rave reviews from students, parents and faculty. Both of Chris Herren’s appearances were spearheaded by the Ocean City Education Foundation
Thanks to a grant from the Ocean City Home Bank Charitable Foundation, all students from both the Ocean City and Upper Township School districts will receive a free Project Purple T-shirt at the game. The students will receive the T-shirt simply by showing their school identification as they enter the gym.
Project Purple is an initiative of The Herren Project, a non-profit foundation established by Chris Herren, former NBA basketball player, motivational speaker, author and sobriety advocate, that assists individuals and families struggling with addiction. Project Purple's goals are to create awareness and educate the public on the epidemic of substance abuse while encouraging teens and people of all ages to make good choices and stand up to drugs and alcohol.
The program will also work to raise funds to provide effective treatment solutions for those who need assistance to overcome substance abuse issues.
The Project Purple concept was developed when Chris Herren, a former professional basketball player who struggled with substance abuse throughout his basketball career, spoke at a local high school and the front row of students were wearing purple shirts. After Herren shared his story, one of the purple shirts raised her hand and stood up to speak. As snickering and laughter could be heard in the auditorium, the student said, "Thank you Mr. Herren for validating what we do. We are the sober students of this high school and each year we take a pledge to not use drugs or alcohol."
Herren was captured by the courage it took to not only stand up and share the symbolism of the purple shirts, but was inspired to make a difference amongst adolescents across the United States.
Join Chris Herren as we stand up and "Go Purple" showing support for the fight against substance abuse. The Jan. 22 boys’ basketball game will be held 7 p.m. at the Ocean City High School gym located on the beach block of Sixth Street in Ocean City.
— News release from the Ocean City Education Foundation