June 2015
In This Issue
Message from Lisa Dow, our Executive Director

First, thank you to everyone who has supported us these last few months! All of you are vital to educating teens and young adults about the dangers of binge drinking and the signs of alcohol poisoning. Whether it is sharing the link to our website, encouraging someone to watch the Carson's Story video, participating #WithCarson, sponsoring an event to raise awareness or donating money, we appreciate you. So what has your support enabled us to accomplish? We completed the first year of our high school pilot on three Austin campuses thanks to the wonderful support of Austin Community Foundation, The Trull Foundation, The Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation, LCRA Employees' United Charities and Brown Distributing Company. In addition, we finished our inaugural programming year with the 23 California State University campuses and are so appreciative of their partnership. Continue reading to see how all of you have created other opportunities to spread this life-saving message to your communities. We are excited about the months ahead and hope you will continue on this journey with us. Have a safe and enjoyable summer!

In Your Community
Aware Awake Alive at High Schools

We are happy to say the first year of our High School Program which included three Austin area schools - Anderson, Austin, and St. Andrew's - was a great success! Each school incorporated Aware Awake Alive on their campuses in various ways including hanging educational posters, chalking sidewalks with messaging, distributing wristbands and MUST HELP cards during football games and incorporating lesson plans into their curriculum. Our pre and post surveys indicated a 36% increase in students who had seen Aware Awake Alive materials on campus and a 45% increase in students who could identify four or more signs of alcohol poisoning. We are pleased to see the program is making a difference and hope to add four more schools for the 2015-2016 school year! 

High School Activities

What do volleyballs, basketball goals, and sidewalk chalk have in common? 

A life-saving message! 

Teens from Austin, Anderson, and St. Andrew's high schools helped spread the message of Aware Awake Alive this spring through activities that included their fellow classmates and community. Each event provided MUST HELP cards to participants and included awareness about the signs of alcohol poisoning. We thank all the schools for their dedication to our mission and to the program! 

Poster Contest Winner

Congratulations to Anderson High School sophomore, Anouk Wain, winner of our 2015 With Carson Day Poster Contest! Anouk won a cash prize generously donated by Wesley Steck at JB Goodwin and will have her poster and powerful message featured as part of our online toolbox this fall.


Like our Facebook page to get the first glance at Anouk's prize winning poster!

Aware Awake Alive and California State University (CSU)

CSU students are making an impact on their campuses by educating others about alcohol poisoning through fun and engaging events. 


  • On May 7th, Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo held their 4th Annual Mustang Mile, which gave students a break from studying and a day spent having fun. A costume contest was incorporated and our Founders, Scott and Julia Starkey, participated as well! 
  • On June 4th, CSU San Bernardino hosted Sober Night Out with more than 200 students in attendance. The event included games, music, a memory wall honoring those who had lost their lives, and information about issues related to alcohol. 

    Toolbox Impact
    The Aware Awake Alive Toolbox is a free, customizable online resource.
    Mission Moment
    From the parent of a CSU student: 
    With Carson
    With Carson Day 2015
    On April 17th , Carson's 25th birthday, we held the 1 st  Annual With Carson Day

    This day served as a celebration to honor Carson and the life he lived. Through social media, we asked you to participate by reconnecting with nature, calling a friend, volunteering, or engaging in acts of kindness. The response was overwhelming, and we truly thank all of those who paused to remember Carson and his legacy in a special way! 

    Help us keep the spirit of With Carson Day strong all year long! 

    Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter    Post, share, tag and tweet  #WithCarson  @AwareAwakeAlive
    Carson's Story

    Carson was born in Austin, Texas on April 17, 1990 and died on December 2, 2008 following a fraternity initiation ritual where he was compelled to drink large quantities of alcohol. In such a short time, Carson accomplished much and will always be remembered by family and friends as a shining example of the right way to live and love this life. Read more about Carson's Story.  


    Founders Spotlight
    Congratulations to Scott and Julia Starkey on being honored by the American Red Cross Central California Region as one of this year's  Real Heroes  for the San Luis Obispo County Real Heroes Event! The Starkeys were selected because of their dedication to the San Luis Obispo community through Aware Awake Alive.
    Supporting Our Mission 
    Amplify Austin 2015

    This was our second year to participate in the Austin-based I Live Here, I Give Here Amplify Austin campaign, a 24-hour online giving day. Thanks to YOU, our amazing supporters, we raised more than $5,600 ($2,000 more than we raised last year)! Every dollar counts towards furthering our mission. We are grateful to all of you who donated and helped spread the word! 

    Delta Sigma Phi, Cal Poly Golf Tournament

    On April 17th, brothers of the Epsilon Rho chapter of Delta Sigma Phi hosted their 4th annual golf tournament for Aware Awake Alive in San Luis Obispo, California. The event included record attendance as well as record-setting fundraising efforts. In total, they raised more than $13,000!  

    Scott and Julia Starkey were on hand to receive the check and were visibly moved by DSP's work to support our mission. Thanks to all of the Delta Sigma Phi actives and alumni who contributed to the tournament's success!


    RIDE Austin's Meaningful May

    RIDE, an indoor cycling studio in Austin, raised more than $3,600 for Aware Awake Alive during their 2015 Meaningful May fundraiser! Thanks to RIDE and all of their RIDErs for supporting our cause! And thank you Shelly Keith for being such a wonderful advocate and nominating us to be included as a beneficiary!

    Vallarta Company's Carson Collection

    For an extra special way to be #WithCarson, Angela Humphrey - owner of clothing company Vallarta and a long-time friend of Carson - curated the limited-edition "Carson Collection" which featured a few beautiful blue pieces. 100% of the profits from this collection benefited Aware Awake Alive programs. Thank you Angela!


    AAA Team Update
    Shannon Kostecka
    Programs Manager

    Shannon joined the team in March and hit the ground running as our programs manager!

    When not at work, she enjoys embracing her inner child, whether that be swinging, paddle boating on Lady Bird Lake, or hitting the trails with her boyfriend on a tandem bike.   #WithCarson

    Melinda Gonzales Boe
    Development Director

    Melinda started in April and is excited to be a part of the team. She loves living in Austin and spends her free time

    exploring the city with her husband and friends. She also stays active through many sports and outdoor activities. 



    Our special thanks to Kelley Newberry, who served as Development Director these last two years, for her invaluable contributions to our team!


    We recently bid farewell to Elise Erb, who graduated in May from the University of Texas with her Masters degree. Elise has accepted a development position with Cal Poly. Thank you to Elise for her dedication during the last year!


    We are pleased to welcome back Caitlin Buchanan as our summer intern. Caitlin is a rising junior majoring in politics at The University of The South in Sewanee, Tennessee.


    We couldn't do it without YOU!
    By supporting Aware Awake Alive, you are helping us continue our important work and spread our life-saving message to young people in your community free of charge and  in the most meaningful way. We greatly appreciate your partnership!