NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- The American Lung Association of the Northeast is set to honor New Canaan's Reed Shultz during the organization's 2014 Spring gala.
The gala, known as “An Evening of Life & Breath, Celebrating One Breath at a Time,” is set for Friday, April 4, at the Aria in Prospect. The evening will include cocktails and one of the state’s largest silent auctions, followed by a four-course dinner and award ceremony. The American Lung Association is naming Reed Schultz, 18, of New Canaan, as the 2014 Youth Healthy Air Ambassador.
"Reed has done extraordinary work on raising awareness about unnecessary vehicle idling, an issue that not only contributes to global warming, but also can cause serious health issues," representatives said.
“We are thrilled to name Reed as the Youth Healthy Air Ambassador for 2014. It is remarkable to see someone so young taking the initiative in their community and dedicating their time to help create a cleaner and healthier environment for all. Reed is an exceptional example of a volunteer and his contributions are appreciated by so many,” said Jeff Seyler, president and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast.
Schultz started “American Idle-Less,” a campaign to end idling vehicle engines, in hopes to save the environment from its harmful effects.Schultz was intrigued by the issue of global warming after learning about its harmful effects while taking an environmental science class. He then decided he needed to find a way to help, according to the release.
“I remember observing at such places as the supermarket by the deli, and even the train station - unnecessary idling,” said Schultz. “Here were cars spewing out toxins that were being breathed by children and adults alike.”
Schultz’s began the website American Idle Less to bring awareness to the driving public on the issue of idling, and decided to educate people on the importance of curbing the dangerously toxic action.
Schultz has also benefited in his efforts by the support and encouragement of U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).
“I saw this as an opportunity for me to help educate people—to help change behavior—and try to make a small difference in our collective quality of life,” said Schultz. “Idling produces a number of harmful toxins including nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds; all toxins that are linked to illnesses such as asthma, heart disease, chronic bronchitis, and cancer."