Karl Schneider | The Collegian

Karl Schneider | The Collegian

Alex Delaney-Gesing
Assistant Editor

With the holiday season now in full swing, festivities are a popular occurrence this time of year. Parties where the food is rich and the drinks are constantly flowing is a common theme for many. With this in mind, enjoying the festivities without getting too tipsy is a decision that should be made by all. By keeping a clear head, the risk of becoming involved in an accident while driving home this time of year is significantly decreased. Enjoying tasty beverages free of alcohol allows adults and kids alike to stay safe this winter.

 Lorain County Community College hosted Lorain County’s 13th annual Zero-Proof Mix-Off from 5 to 7 p.m on Dec. 4. Funded by the Lorain County General Health District and open to all community members, the event was held in the Spitzer Conference Center.

Encouraging a safe holiday season this year by driving sober, the evening featured prizes, raffles, food, dancing and drinking (of the non-alcoholic kind) for the whole family. Local agencies, businesses and LCCC organizations participated in the traditional mix-off competition by creating their own non-alcoholic drinks to be judged by volunteer critics.

 Representing LCCC in the contest included the Student Senate, 2013’s winners for Best Overall Drink, with their Orange Crush mix, the campus Starbucks’ Pumpkin Roll Frappuccino created by student workers and the Police Academy’s Top Shot chocolate concoction.

”This is my first year coming and it’s a lot of fun,” said LCCC Student Senate Vice President Charlene Dellipoala. ”“I hope that [this event]  encourages people to drink non-alcoholically, and if they don’t, then designate a driver.”

“It’s important that people stay smart and safe over the holidays,” said Katlyn Klueve, an  LCCC Starbucks student worker and exercise science major.”This definitely helps them do that.”

The event was emceed by Nikki Fulmer from WOBL 1320AM radio station and Elyria Police Department Captain Phil Hammonds. Judging for the mix-off was conducted by volunteers including LCCC’s own Executive Chef of Dining Services Eric Petrus and Pat Schrull of the Allied Health and Nursing division.

The mix-off winners included LCCC’s Police Academy for Best Student Drink with their ‘Top Shot’,  ‘Campfire Crunch’ by Girl Scouts North East Ohio for Best Overall Drink, and the Lorain County Blue Foundation’s ‘Warm & Fuzzy’ creation for People’s Choice. With hundreds of attendees throughout the evening, the annual mix-off proved once again to be an alcohol-free celebration enjoyable for all ages.

“It’s all about being together and trying new things,” said Holly Benetto, an LCCC police academy student. “This event is really encouraging and showing people that they can have fun without alcohol in their systems in a great family-fun experience.”