Louisiana’s 147 Sonic restaurants, in partnership with University Medical Center New Orleans (UMC) and the Louisiana Passenger Safety Task Force, donated $55,000 to provide free and professionally installed car seats for children in needy families throughout the state.

Applications for the program are available at http://www.umcno.org/injuryprevention. Seats are awarded to eligible recipients on a first-come, first-served basis while funds last, so interested families are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The application deadline is September 7.

Sonic restaurants raised the money through sales of the 2016 Sonic “Tot” calendar. This is second year for the car-seat event, which has raised a total of $103,000 and purchased 1,848 car seats.

“At Sonic, we celebrate our car culture and realize many families can’t afford these life-saving seats for their children. Through the generosity of our customers, we make it our mission to help keep kids safe while they’re riding,” says Ted Kergan, owner of Kergan Bros. Sonic Group, the state’s largest Sonic franchisee.

“We’re excited to team up with Sonic for the second year to reduce childhood injuries and fatalities across our state,” says Bridget Gardner, a registered nurse and coordinator of the Community Injury Prevention Program at UMC New Orleans. “When used correctly, child restraints are the number-one factor in protecting our children in motor vehicle crashes.”

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