The Click It for Cassie Foundation has launched a new project to create educational DVDs and distribute them at high schools and driver's education classes throughout the country to raise teens' awareness of the importance of using seat belts when driving.

The foundation's mission is best known as being promoted through the popular seat-belt designed "Click It for Cassie" bumper stickers, which are distributed free of charge at schools, businesses, events and by mail. These bumper stickers can be seen on thousands of cars throughout southwestern Connecticut and have spread across the country.

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The announcement of the educational DVD program was made at the Click It for Cassie Softball Tournament at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk on June 15. Now in its fifth year, the tournament had its best attendance so far, and raised money from sales of T-shirts, beach bags, baked goods and food from the "Pickles Food Truck," as well as through individual donations.

Twelve softball teams from around Fairfield County competed for prizes. The softball tournament is the foundation's only fundraising event of the year, and the money raised is used to spread the "Click It for Cassie" message to young people about seat-belt safety. The cost of the event was offset this year by donations from three corporate sponsors, POKO Partners, Fairfield County Bank and Abercrombie, Burns, McKiernan & Co.

The Geary family started the foundation in 2008. Anne and Tom Geary of Norwalk are the owners of the Geary Gallery, Accent Picture Framing & Accent Restoration in Darien. Their 17-year-old daughter Cassie lost control of her car in bad weather and was killed due to blunt trauma injuries. The police told her parents that if she had been wearing her seat belt, she would have survived.

The educational DVD will be professionally videotaped with the Geary's message for a teenage audience, appropriate for those just learning or new to driving.

"I am being asked more and more frequently to come to high schools and driver's education classes in our area to speak on this topic," said Tom Geary. "However, this DVD will allow us to get our message out to high schools all over the country, whether the teen watches it in a classroom, an auditorium or on their own. If we can help just one person walk away from an otherwise deadly accident, it makes us feel that Cassie is working with us and did not die in vain."

Statistics show that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 34.

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