-- MADD presents 17 National President's Awards, 8 Media Recognition Awards, and 14 Partner Recognition Awards --
WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, as part of the 2012 MADD National Conference, Mothers Against Drunk Driving recognized its top volunteers and staff, along with partners in the community and media who have helped further MADD's mission to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. During tonight's President's Awards Dinner, MADD National President Jan Withers presented awards to those who have gone above and beyond to make a difference in their communities and across the country. Earlier in the day, MADD held a Media and Partnership Recognition Luncheon, during which media outlets and partner organizations were acknowledged for their efforts to raise awareness, prevent injuries and save lives.
"It's an honor for me to present these awards to such a remarkable collection of individuals and groups," said Withers. "MADD is — at its core — a grassroots organization, and our lifesaving work depends on the dedication and passion of those around the country who serve in a variety of roles, from volunteers to law enforcement, and from media to corporations."
The 2012 MADD National President's Award winners are as follows:
- George and Marilyn Murphy from MADD Illinois received the prestigious Golden Achievement Award, the highest award given to MADD volunteers. These two remarkable individuals are long-time volunteers who have honored their daughter Kelly's memory through lobbying for legislation, speaking at schools, advocating for victims and raising awareness in any way possible.
- Kathy Bell-Schexnaider from MADD Texas won the Robert C. Shearouse Employee of the Year Award for her 10-plus years of passionate service across an expansive 10-county area in Texas, last year providing support to more than 500 victims and survivors of drunk driving crashes.
- Renee Brown from MADD Kentucky earned the Youth Activist of the Year Award for her commitment to underage drinking prevention, including participation in compliance checks for alcohol retailers, public service announcements and MADD's first-ever National Teen Influencer Group.
- Dr. Robert Turrisi from Pennsylvania State University received the Ralph Hingson Research in Practice Award for his research around the effectiveness of parents having on-going conversations with their kids about alcohol, in order to prevent underage drinking — a key part of MADD's Power of Parents™ program.
- Anne Pratt from MADD Oregon won the Public Policy Achievement Award for her dedication to the passage, improvement and expansion of Oregon's ignition interlock law, which has resulted in drunk driving fatalities being reduced by half since the law went into effect in 2007.
- Senior Officer Pat Oborski from Texas earned the Outstanding Law Enforcement Award – Individual for his work as part of the Austin Police Department's DWI unit, where he's consistently had the highest arrest numbers in the unit, and has participated in numerous no-refusal weekend enforcement crackdowns.
- Montgomery County Police Department from Maryland received the Outstanding Law Enforcement Award – Agency for their commitment to drunk driving and underage drinking prevention, including increased enforcement efforts around the winter holidays, when drunk driving fatalities typically increase.
- James Tobin from MADD Arizona won the Micky Sadoff Award – Underage Drinking for his collaboration with MADD to create a Youth Drug and Alcohol Awareness Program in Arizona, in addition to his implementation of a program for alcohol retailers to enforce age restrictions.
- Lori Stevens and Alicia Parmley from MADD Texas earned the Micky Sadoff Award – Drunk Driving for their work to raise awareness and reduce drunk driving fatalities, especially through court monitoring and their organization of an annual event to honor the heroes in law enforcement who help keep our roads safe.
- Jennifer Godbehere from MADD Arizona garnered the Linda Kitazaki Fundraising Award – Staff for her stellar ability to develop relationships with existing and potential sponsors, resulting in increased funds to provide even more law enforcement and victim support services.
- Heather Geronemus from MADD Florida received the Linda Kitazaki Fundraising Award – Volunteer for serving as chairperson of the local Walk Like MADD® 5K event for two years in a row, raising more than $100,000 for MADD, while honoring the memory of her father, who was killed by a drunk driver.
- Robert Murray from California won the Criminal Justice Award – Prosecutor for his devotion to prosecuting felony DUI and DUI homicide cases, while providing countless hours of support to victims and their families.
- Judge Elisabeth Earle from Texas earned the Criminal Justice Award – Judge for her role in the implementation of DWI courts around the state, making sure victims' voices are heard during court proceedings, and teaching instructors of statewide DWI offender education programs.
- Barbara Stillings from MADD Arkansas and Fred Campbell from MADD Nevada both garnered the Criminal Justice Award – Court Monitoring Volunteer for their devotion to attending drunk driving court proceedings. Barbara Stillings has helped ensure accountability for offenders and support for victims, and Fred Campbell (who recently passed away) was committed to ensuring courts required ignition interlocks for DUI offenders.
- MADD South Georgia and MADD Washington both won the Chapter of the Year Award — MADD South Georgia for growing MADD's presence in a previously underserved area of rural Georgia, and MADD Washington for successfully rebuilding MADD's capacity in the state.
- Robert Strassburger from Washington, D.C. received the Chuck Hurley Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® Award for his commitment to the success of MADD's blueprint for the elimination of drunk driving, since the launch of the campaign in 2006.
- The MADD National Helpline Advocates earned the Brenda Altman Heart of MADD Award for their dedication to providing one-on-one assistance to victims and survivors of drunk driving crashes through MADD's 24-hour victim helpline.
Also as part of the President's Awards dinner, MADD honored Carol McNamee from MADD Hawaii with the Janey Fair Board Service Award for her dedication and service to her local MADD affiliate after the conclusion of her term on the MADD National Board of Directors. She founded MADD Hawaii in 1984 and has since been a tireless advocate for MADD's legislative efforts, programs and victim services.
During the "Steps to Success: Media and Partnership Recognition Luncheon" also held today, media were recognized for excellence in coverage of drunk driving and underage drinking issues during a portion of the event supported by the General Motors Foundation.
"The GM Foundation is committed to ensuring that our nation's roads are safe. We are proud to partner with MADD, as what they do makes a difference. We are pleased to help recognize those media outlets that have been integral in raising awareness about the critical issues of drunk driving and underage drinking," said Michael J. Robinson, Board of Directors of the General Motors Foundation.
The 2012 MADD Media Recognition Award winners are as follows:
- Dateline NBC, for their "My Kid Would Never Do That" episode on driving, which raised awareness about the dangers of teens getting in the car with someone who's been drinking, while also providing parents with information about the importance of talking with their kids about alcohol.
- USA Today, for their story about the importance of death notification training for law enforcement officers and others who are faced with the difficult task of telling someone that their loved one is dead, especially since it has been shown that death notifications can have lasting effects on a person's grieving process.
- New York Daily News, for their extensive coverage of New York's Leandra's Law, which requires all convicted drunk drivers to use ignition interlock devices, and makes driving drunk with a child passenger (under the age of 16) in the car a felony.
- WUSA9 (Washington, D.C.), for their series of reports on the problem, prevalence and dangers of underage drinking, covering the issue with honesty, courage and a realistic look at what's going on in the community — ultimately, challenging the philosophy that underage drinking is a rite of passage.
- KOMO TV and KOMO Newsradio (Seattle, Wa.), for their on-going commitment to raising awareness about drunk driving and underage drinking by reporting on local news stories, creating and airing public service announcements, and partnering on MADD's annual Walk Like MADD® fundraiser.
- Bright House Networks – Pinellas Region (Tampa Bay, Fla.), for their consistent support of MADD's local efforts, through coverage of local news stories, providing extensive air-time for MADD public service announcements, and serving as a valuable media partner for Walk Like MADD.
- El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas), for their article on some of the difficult realities facing victims and survivors of drunk driving crashes, including the effects on family dynamics after the sudden death of a loved one in a drunk driving crash.
- WTAE-TV (Pittsburgh, Penn.), for their three-part series on the devastating consequences of drunk driving crashes, including the day-to-day realities for those who are faced with lifelong injuries, and how their lives are so incredibly altered.
Also at the luncheon, MADD's partners were recognized for their valuable contributions to MADD. The partners recognized were:
- National Football League
- Nationwide Insurance
- State Farm Insurance
- General Motors Foundation
- Liberty Tax
- Hill Street Marketing (MADD Virgin Drinks)
- CellWand Communications
- The Heritage Company
- Creative Direct Response
- Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.
- Stonehenge Strategic Group, Inc. (Cocktail Expressions Collection)
For more information about the 2012 MADD National Conference, "Steps to a Safer Nation," visit www.madd.org/conference2012.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation's largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America's roads. PowerTalk 21® is the national day for parents to talk with their kids about alcohol, using the proven strategies of Power of Parents™ to reduce the risk of underage drinking. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every eight minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.
SOURCE Mothers Against Drunk Driving