Representatives from Nationwide Insurance Co.'s Prom Promise campaign presented Mount Hebron High School students with a $400 check yesterday, making the school the county's biggest winner this year in the anti-drunken driving contest.
Carol Katsampis, an independent agent with Nationwide Insurance who has an office in Ellicott City, said officials surprised the nearly 1,300-member student body by reading the news over the intercom system yesterday.
Mount Hebron placed fourth of 20 prize winners in "Division A" of the state competition, open to schools with 950 students or more, said Sam Bradshaw, Prom Promise's regional coordinator.
Other county winners in the same division are Oakland Mills (seventh); Hammond High (11th); Glenelg (17th); Centennial (18th); and Howard (19th).
To compete, interested students pledged not to use alcohol or drugs, especially on prom nights, and held anti-drinking and driving events.
This was the third year that Howard County high schools participated in the 5-year-old program.
"Prom Promise is another awareness project to make the students aware of just how tragic it can be if they use alcohol and drugs and drive," Ms. Katsampis said.
A county police spokesman said the department did not receive any reports of alcohol-related crashes this prom season.
Statewide, 150 schools in Maryland competed in the program for 40 prizes, ranging from $125 to $2,375, Mr. Bradshaw said.
Liberty High School in Carroll County was named the grand champion of the Division A competition, winning $2,375, and Stephen Decatur High School in Salisbury was named the Division B champion, which includes schools with fewer than 950 students.