A Life Remembered at the 2010 MADD Colorado Annual Candlelight Vigil

MADD Colorado members, victims and survivors gather to honor those injured and killed in alcohol-related crashes

DENVER, April 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) held its Annual Candlelight Vigil for victims and survivors of alcohol-related crashes in Colorado. Attendees gathered in the Gates Garden Court of the Denver Botanic Gardens and took time to light a candle and pay tribute to victims of alcohol-related crashes in Colorado. Afterwards, the crowd gathered in the Gates Hall to hear readings from other Victim/survivors, community stakeholders and MADD Colorado representatives before watching the 2010 MADD Colorado slideshow presentation which depicts photographs of those killed and injured on local roadways. Victims/ survivors then carried a candle in honor of the person they pay tribute to as the group walked together down a peaceful path of the Denver Botanic Gardens at dusk.

Each year, MADD provides a voice for the victims and families affected by drunk driving at its annual Candlelight Vigil.  Barbara Brodt has been helping to support victim/survivors since she founded the MADD Denver Affiliate after her Mother, Dorothy, was killed by a drunk driver on February 11, 1982. After nearly 30 years, Barbara believes the Candlelight Vigil to be a critically important event of support and community awareness. "The crash is just the beginning of the real tragedy and how it impacts your life," said Brodt. "That's why MADD is here; to honor lives lost and changed forever, and to celebrate that we can make a difference."

In 2008 alone, 173 people were killed in Colorado in alcohol-related traffic crashes by drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher and countless others were injured. As winter becomes spring, and holidays like Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day are fast approaching, many families  face these and holidays knowing  a loved one will be missing from the celebrations. Others are forced to watch their loved ones suffer from devastating injuries keeping them from living the lives they once knew. The Candlelight Vigil is not only a way to support victims/survivors, but also a reminder that our community must work to protect our future.  

"It can be extremely difficult to look at the faces of those senselessly killed and injured in preventable alcohol-related crashes," said Emily Tompkins, MADD Colorado State Executive Director. "MADD's Annual Candlelight Vigil puts a human face on the tragic consequences of drunk driving, offers victim/survivors an opportunity to remember, honor, and heal, and reminds our community that we cannot tolerate impaired driving."

Behind every drunk driving statistic is a person whose life was full of family and friends, love and life, joy and laughter.  MADD's Online Victim/Survivor Tribute honors and remembers those killed or injured in a drunk driving crash.  To view the online tribute to learn about some of the beloved victims as told by their family and friends or to post a tribute of your own, please visit

http://www.madd.org/Victim-Services/Victim-Services/Honoring-Victims-Survivors.aspx

MADD Colorado thanks the major financial contributors that made this year's Candlelight Vigil possible: Bell & Pollock, PC, MADD Colorado's 2009-2010 Victim Services Sponsor and 2010 Candlelight Vigil Presenting Sponsor; Bachus & Schanker, LLC, MADD Colorado's 2010 Statewide Sponsor; and the Denver VALE Board. In addition to the Candlelight Vigil, their contributions support MADD Colorado's Victim Services year round.

MADD is one of the nation's largest crime victim assistance organizations, providing free services to victims and survivors including support from trained advocates and a network of peers, guidance through the judicial process, and counseling referrals. MADD Colorado has served more than 1500 victims/survivors in 2009.

About MADD

Founded in 1980, MADD's mission is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving calls for intensive, high-visibility law enforcement, mandatory ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, development and exploration of advanced vehicle-based technology and community support.  MADD is a 501c(3) non-profit, grassroots organization with approximately 400 affiliates and 2 million members and supporters nationwide.  MADD's trained victim advocates served 46,000 victims/survivors in 2006.  For more information, please visit www.madd.org or call (800) GET-MADD.  Victims/survivors can reach MADD 24 hours, seven days a week, 1-877-MADD-HELP.   

SOURCE Mothers Against Drunk Driving Colorado



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