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Teen driver awarded

POSTED: April 11, 2012 4:00 a.m.
Michele Hester Dawson Community News/

Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle presents Makayla Crowder with the prom dress she picked out Friday at her home.

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Makayla Crowder was shocked and surprised when she was called out of class March 27 by a local deputy.

"I wasn't sure what was going on," the Dawson County High School junior said.

The news made her day.

Crowder was selected to receive an all-expense paid trip to her prom on May 5 for her commitment to be a safe driver.

"I always put my cell phone in the back seat so I'm not tempted to use it while I'm driving," she said.

Dawson County Sheriff's Capt. Tony Wooten said Crowder was the ideal candidate to receive the award that was made possible by a community grant from The Allstate Foundation.

"She really impressed us and deserves to be recognized," he said.

In addition to purchasing her prom dress and tickets, the sheriff's office will also treat Crowder and three friends to a day of pampering in preparation for the big night.

"They're all going to lunch, getting their nails and hair done and then having dinner at Osaka before they go to the prom," Wooten said.

Chris Gaines, who owns an Allstate agency in downtown Dawsonville, presented the department with the $1,000 grant last month in recognition of Sheriff Billy Carlisle's "Caught Safe" program that awards safe teen drivers throughout the school year.

"The whole reason for the program is to award safe teen drivers. Makayla is an excellent spokesperson for her age group," Gaines said. "If we can save one person and encourage one teen to drive safe and not text when they're driving, we've made a difference."

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