sealPurdue News

October 29, 2002

Founders of B.R.A.D. birthday card to visit Purdue University

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The parents who send Be Responsible About Drinking birthday cards to Purdue University students on their 21st birthday will deliver an alcohol awareness presentation on Sunday, Nov. 3.

The presentation, sponsored by Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, will take place at 6:30 p.m. in Lilly Hall, Room 1105. It is free and open to the public.

John and Cindy McCue's son, Bradley, was a Michigan State University student who died after drinking on his 21st birthday. To prevent other families from suffering from a similar tragedy, the McCues started the Be Responsible About Drinking (B.R.A.D.) Foundation, which sends out birthday cards encouraging students to be responsible on their 21st birthday.

The card's message is: "You're Turning 21. Celebrate. We want you to turn 22. Celebrate responsibly." A picture of Brad, a description of the circumstances surrounding his death from alcohol poisoning and a wallet card discussing the symptoms of, and care for, alcohol poisoning also are included.

Katie O'Shea, public relations chair of Alpha Omicron Pi, says the birthday cards have been effective.

"We know that the B.R.A.D. birthday card has touched a lot of people on this campus," O'Shea says. "Alpha Omicron Pi is excited that students will have an opportunity to meet Brad's parents and hear their message in person."

With funds from Purdue Student Government and the Coalition for a Safe and Drug-Free Tippecanoe County, more than 4,000 cards are sent to Purdue University students each year. In a survey of Purdue students who received the card, 20 percent said the message influenced their thinking regarding alcohol and, as a result, they drank less than they had originally expected.

Tammy Loew, alcohol risk reduction coordinator for the Student Wellness Office, says Purdue welcomes the heightened awareness.

"In the prevention field, that's a significant amount of behavior change," Loew says. "The B.R.A.D. card is one of the most powerful alcohol poisoning prevention tools we have on this campus."

The B.R.A.D. program is in its third year at Purdue.

CONTACT: Katie O'Shea, (765) 497-7826,; Tammy Loew (765) 496-6780,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Media should contact Tammy Loew, at (765) 496-6780, to make arrangements to cover the presentation. A publication-quality photograph of Bradley McCue is available at

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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