Dawkins helping to save lives on Prom Night
By Logan Watson
For the second year in a row, B.J. Dawkins is doing his part to reduce the number of alcohol related deaths on prom night.
Dawkins, the owner of Dawkins C-Store in Kenton, announced last week that he would not be selling alcohol at his store on Saturday, April 15, the day of the Gibson County and Obion County high school proms.
“I’ve got two teenagers that are going to be going to prom soon themselves,” Dawkins said of his decision. “I just want to do what I can to get alcohol out of the hands of teenagers.”
Dawkins started the beer ban at his store in 2022 and, though other stores might not have followed his lead, he has received a lot of support from parents.
“We’ve all been to prom,” Dawkins said. “What was the first thing that our parents told us? Be responsible. Make good choices. I had to home a little bit earlier than normal just because everybody is out on the road and drinking. I thought maybe I could help out a little bit so that parents could lay their heads down at night knowing that there’s one less place selling beer.”
Dawkins said that he got the idea after a conversation with his wife. Their children, ages 14 and 16, go to school in Union City.
“My son had just gotten his hardship and I was so terrified of him driving,” Dawkins laughed. “He wanted to go out and ride around on prom night. I said, ‘No, you’re not going.’ Here I am sounding like my parents when I was a kid.”
Dawkins said that he hasn’t really considered how much revenue he is giving up by instituting his prom night beer bans.
“Whatever money I would have made in beer sales on prom night, we made up for in Shaker’s Pizza sales, so I didn’t feel that,” Dawkins said. “Even if I would have, how do you put a price on that peace of mind, knowing that your kid has one less place to buy alcohol?”
“The support has been awesome,” he said. “I didn’t really know how people were going to take it, especially last year. Some of the people didn’t know anything about it, but they thanked me for it. I haven’t had the first person complain.”
Dawkins also plans on closing his coolers on April 29, the day of the Union City High School prom.