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I Just Won A Car!

Sean Warner from Heritage High School won the 2012 Hyundai Veloster donated by First Team Auto Mall of Roanoke.

Heritage High School Student wins RAYSAC After Prom Car 

Students from 26 area high schools gathered at Valley View Mall to try to win a new, bright red Hyundai Veloster, but it was Sean Warner, a rising senior from Heritage High School and the Central Virginia Governor’s School, who won it.

“I turned the key in the lock and it just kept going,” Warner said moments after the key he had drawn at random successfully unlocked a box, which held the actual key to the car.

Warner was among approximately 100 students who won a chance at the car by attending after prom parties designed to keep high school students safe on prom night.  In order to be eligible, students were required to stay at after prom parties until the events concluded.   Four students from each school were selected to attend the After Prom Grand Finale Event at Valley View Mall on June 3.

”The car is the incentive,” said Kathy Graham Sullivan, coordinator of Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition or RAYSAC.   “When the kids think they might win a new car, they tend to stay at after prom parties where they are safe.”  Sullivan pointed out that since the programs’ inception 24 years ago not a single student had been injured or killed in a vehicular accident at a school participating in the car giveaway program.  Sullivan thanked First Team Auto Mall of Roanoke, which has donated the car for the last 22 years.

“We think it’s important to keep these kids safe on prom night,” said First Team General Manager David Dillon, who was on hand for the giveaway.  “If we can keep kids safe at 30-plus high schools by making a car available, we think it’s worth the investment in our communities.”

Prior to the car giveaway, the students played games to compete for prizes valued at $100 each.  At least one student from every high school earned one of those prizes, mostly electronics and gift cards.  After that, each student drew a key at random from a basket.  Approximately 70 students tried their luck before Warner’s key did the trick.

Warner says he is interested in biology and math and sports a 4.3 grade point average.  He says he plans to go pursue biology in college at either Columbia or the University of Virginia.

“It’s pretty awesome,” said Warner of his new Hyundai.   “I can’t wait to drive it.”

For more information on how to help keep kids safe on prom night or to make a donation to the cause, call Kathy Sullivan at (540) 982-1427 ext. 2123 or visit

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