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Parents of UWSP student help start "Bring a Buddy" program

A photo of missing UWSP student Eric Duffey
A photo of missing UWSP student Eric Duffey

STEVENS POINT, WI (WTAQ) - After losing their son to a night of drinking, the parents of a UW-Stevens Point student helped start a program to try and prevent such a tragedy from happening again. 

Daren and Joan Duffey worked with the campus Student Government Association to start a program called "Bring a Buddy." 

It seeks to assure that students have someone with them when they walk home from a night at the bars. 

Over 3,000 bracelets have been given to students on the Stevens Point campus, mainly to those living in the dorms. The blue bracelets include the phone number of a local taxi company, so students can get rides if they need them. 

The campaign began after Stevens Point student Eric Duffey was found dead in an icy Wisconsin River, three days after he was last seen leaving a tavern in downtown Stevens Point in March of last year. 

The problem is a lot more common in La Crosse, where 10 college-age men drowned in three local rivers over the past 15 years after nights of drinking.