Agen­cies, or­ga­ni­za­tions gather for 17th an­nual Zero-Proof Mix-Off

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - FRONT PAGE - By Kevin Martin [email protected]­ingjour­ @MJKev­inMartin1 on Twit­ter

Lorain County Com­mu­nity Col­lege and the Lorain County Safe Com­mu­nity Coali­tion pre­sented their 17th an­nual ZeroProof Mix-Off on Dec. 6.

Held at Lorain County Com­mu­nity Col­lege’s Spitzer Con­fer­ence Cen­ter, 22 lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions mixed up their best cre­ative liq­uid con­coc­tions. Those in­cluded Lorain County JVS Al­lied Health Sciences and Adult Ed­u­ca­tion Ph­le­botomy pro­grams “Cran­berry Trans­fu­sion” served in pouches eerily re­sem­bling a trans­fu­sion to “Will’s Win­ter Chill,” named for Lorain County Pros­e­cu­tor Den­nis Will.

“It started off with the goal of try­ing to nor­mal­ize sober cel­e­bra­tions, es­pe­cially around the

“The ul­ti­mate goal is to keep ev­ery­thing safe.”

— Ohio State High­way Pa­trol Trooper Ray San­ti­ago

hol­i­days, when a lot of those cel­e­bra­tions do re­volve around al­co­hol,” said Katie Be­van, a pro­gram man­ager with Lorain County Pub­lic Health’s Health Pro­mo­tion and Dis­ease Preven­tion. “And we also started it with the goal to in­crease aware­ness of im­paired driv­ing, that it does hap­pen still, even in 2018 when you would think by now we would have kind of ad­justed our be­hav­iors.”

Be­van wasn’t mak­ing any firm pre­dic­tions about which drinks would pre­vail but was en­cour­aged by some of this year’s cre­ations.

“I tend to like the drinks that are not as sweet. Be­cause usu­ally the drinks that are a lit­tle bit more sa­vory or bub­bly and tangy, they tend to help off­set those hol­i­day cook­ies you tend to have this time of year, so I ap­pre­ci­ate that,” she said.

“But this many of the in­gre­di­ents we see are cran­ber­ries, choco­late, co­conut are kind of new and dif­fer­ent this year. And laven­der, that’s a new one.”

Be­van said with even tech­nol­ogy ad­vanc­ing so

quickly with ride-shar­ing apps to help peo­ple find safe rides home af­ter con­sum­ing al­co­hol, too many peo­ple are still mak­ing un­for­tu­nate de­ci­sions in choos­ing to get be­hind the wheel.

In 2017, al­co­hol im­pair­ment was as­so­ci­ated with about 38 per­cent of ve­hi­cle crash fa­tal­i­ties in Lorain County. A fig­ure the Ohio State High­way Pa­trol knows too well.

Trooper Ray San­ti­ago of the High­way Pa­trol’s Elyria Post was serv­ing up their win­ning drink “Thin Blue Line Shine,” along with Sgt. Pablo Cruz and Trooper Corey Re­sendez.

“The ul­ti­mate goal is to keep ev­ery­thing safe,” San­ti­ago said. “Too of­ten this is the busy sea­son for us so to speak and not for good rea­sons. And to be able to come out here and take proac­tive

mea­sures to in­ter­act with the com­mu­nity and still have fun and still en­joy some of the same great tast­ing drinks without al­co­hol present. And it gives us an op­por­tu­nity to be hu­man and some­times that’s in the shadow of our smile.”

The High­way Pa­trol took home two honors in­clud­ing the Peo­ple’s Choice award and Best Over­all for their cre­ation com­bin­ing ap­ple juice, ap­ple cider and cin­na­mon served with op­tional whipped cream and caramel sauce.

“We are hav­ing fun in case you couldn’t tell. So it was an op­por­tu­nity for ev­ery­one else to give us a ticket for once. And it worked out, ev­ery­one had a good time and hope­fully it pays off with a safe hol­i­day sea­son,” San­ti­ago said.


Troop­ers Ray San­ti­ago , left, Corey Re­sendez and Sgt. Pablo Cruz of the Ohio State High­way Pa­trol Elyria Post serve up their win­ning liq­uid con­coc­tion “Thin Blue Line Shine” at the 17th an­nual Zero-Proof Mix-Off at Lorain County Com­mu­nity Col­lege’s Spitzer Con­fer­ence Cen­ter on Dec. 6.

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