Moms, Dads, and Community Stakeholders Unite to join Walk Like MADD to Keep our Communities and Children Safe.
DENVER, May 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mothers, fathers, concerned citizens and community stakeholders turned out this morning to help MADD Colorado kick-off the 2010 Walk Like MADD campaign at the Pepsi Center. Walk Like MADD is a 5K non-competitive family walk that raises funds to support MADD's mission of eliminating drunk driving, supporting victims and their families, and preventing underage drinking. The 2010 Walk Like MADD 5k event will take place Saturday, August 7, 2010 at Sloan's Lake Park. Denver's 5th Annual Walk Like MADD event helps raise money and awareness to support MADD Colorado's education programs, victim services and the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, which calls for lifesaving alcohol ignition interlocks for all drunk drivers, sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols, community support and the development and exploration of advanced technologies that will one day make a vehicle inoperable by a drunk driver.
The timing for the launch of the Walk like MADD campaign is significant because this is the season of intensive, high-visibility enforcement. Walk like MADD is a call to action to support MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, one key initiative of which is to support intensive high-visibility law enforcement. During this heightened enforcement time, as well as throughout the year, MADD Colorado works with law enforcement by providing support to nearly 150 sobriety checkpoints because checkpoints are proven to save lives. Studies have consistently found that the societal savings from checkpoints significantly outweigh the initial investment. According the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every $1 invested in checkpoints returns $23 in savings such as medical costs. Anyone can help eliminate drunk driving by registering for Walk Like MADD to raise money for MADD Colorado to continue to support law enforcement's efforts and all of MADD Colorado programs and victim services that keep our children and communities safe.
The Walk Like MADD launch is also significant because it falls just days before Mother's Day, yet another holiday when many families feel the loss of a loved one at celebrations and gatherings. For nearly 30 years, MADD has helped save over 300,000 lives – but still people continue to die and be injured by this violent crime. 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. MADD Colorado served over 1,500 victim survivors in 2009 and yet, there are many more victims in need of support and services. These numbers and statistics represent families and friends devastated by a preventable crime who go on to feel the impact forever.
Three Mothers Tell Their Story About Drunk Driving
Jonni Conant On May 15, 2006, Jonni came home from work to find her 20-year-old son Justin in a hurry to go to softball game with his coworkers. Justin loved to be with people and was always on the move. He was a business student at UCD, a Denver Public Safety Cadet, a rock climber, a soccer player, and a snow boarder. At 11:30PM that evening, the doorbell rang; it was the beginning of any parent's worst nightmare. A policeman, a victim's advocate, and a representative from the coroner's office stood just inside the front door—Justin had been killed in a drunk driving crash. "It has been nearly four years since we lost Justin," says Jonni. "Our family will never be the same; we will forever live a life with sadness and grief that no family should have to endure."
Barbara Brodt Barbara is a proud mother of her grown sons and grandchildren, but it was Barbara's mother, Dorothy, who was killed in a drunk driving crash on February 11, 1982. That night, Dorothy and two family friends were on their way to surprise Barbara with a visit when their car was hit from behind by a drunk driver on I-25. Angered by the light sentence the drunk driver received, Barbara founded the Denver Metro Chapter of MADD (which is now the MADD Colorado State Charter) in memory of Dorothy. Barbara and the members of Denver Metro MADD worked to raise awareness of the impact of drunk driving and lobbied the state legislature for stiffer penalties and enforcement. Twenty eight years later, Barbara continues her work to eliminate drunk driving as a member and Chairperson Emeritus of the Walk Like MADD Steering Committee.
Sandy Eversole Sandy is the proud Mother of David Scott Mueller, who at 19 was killed by a drunk driver. He was a star Track and Field sprinter who broke 9 school records in his freshman year of College at UCCS. Sandy loved to watch him run. David had an awesome future ahead of him; he was even investing in stocks at age 13. The drunk driver should have never been on the road driving—he had 6 speeding tickets and one was just 2 weeks before he killed David. "I struggle every day thinking how am I going to mend the hole in my heart," says Sandy. "I am honored to be involved with Walk Like MADD. It is very healing to me."
MADD's goal is to eliminate drunk driving so no more mothers, fathers, or families will have to face the tragedy of needless deaths and injuries of their loved ones. "After all the headlines are gone and our story is replaced in the papers and on TV by yet another unnecessary alcohol-related crash, we still have to deal with the daily anguish of losing Adam," said Steve Neyer, MADD volunteer/victim survivor and American Family Insurance Agent. Every step taken and every pledge made to Walk Like MADD provides funding and awareness to support MADD's life-saving mission and takes us all steps closer to a nation without drunk driving. "American Family Insurance is proud to be the Presenting Sponsor for the Colorado Walk Like MADD," said Ranger Duran, Agency Sales Vice President for American Family. "As an insurance company we've seen the devastating injuries and trauma to victims and their families as a result of drunk-driving crashes. This sponsorship is our commitment to support MADD in its mission to make our roadways safer and to eliminate drunk driving throughout Colorado." NHTSA estimates that reducing alcohol-related crashes by 10 percent would save $1.8 billion in insurance claims payments and loss adjustment expenses alone. The lives that would be saved and injuries prevented are invaluable.
At today's kick-off, Walk Like MADD team captains, top walkers, and volunteers heard from elected officials and other supporters about the grave consequences of drunk driving and the importance of MADD's mission. "We are honored to continue our Statewide Sponsorship of MADD Colorado," says Darin L. Schanker, founding partner at the law firm of Bachus & Schanker, LLC. "Our experience in personal injury law has shown us firsthand the devastating effects drunk driving has on both victims and their families. Through both our financial contributions and our continued participation as a Walk Like MADD Sponsor, we hope to support the invaluable programs and victim services provided by MADD."
Walk Like MADD is an opportunity for individuals and teams to improve their health and help their community at the same time by raising funds and awareness for MADD Colorado's efforts to eliminate drunk driving and support the victims of drunk driving crashes. Corporations and families can form teams or participate as individuals and are asked to raise at least $100 each through donations. All funds raised through Walk Like MADD stay in Colorado for MADD's programs and services.
Interested in participating? There are three options: 1) If you live the area of Denver's Walk Like MADD, you can register to walk or form a team; 2) If you are unable to make Denver's Walk Like MADD on August 7th, you can sign up to raise money as a virtual walker, anywhere and anytime; or 3) You can give a one-time donation to Denver's Walk. Please visit www.walklikemadd.org to register, donate or get more information.
The 2010 Walk Like MADD Sponsors are generously supporting MADD Colorado's Walk: Presenting Sponsor – American Family Insurance; MADD Colorado Statewide Sponsor – the law firm of Bachus and Schanker; Victim Services Sponsor—the law firm of Bell & Pollock; and Hospitality Sponsor – King Soopers.
Walk Like MADD Event Information for Saturday, August 7, 2010
Walk Like MADD
MADD Colorado's 5k, non-competitive awareness and fund-raising event
Walk, Run, Cycle or Roll your way around the Park!
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Registration Begins – 7:30 a.m.
Opening Ceremonies – 8:30 a.m.
Walk Begins – 9:00 a.m.
Sloan's Lake Park
Corner of 17th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard
Founded in 1980, MADD's mission is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. MADD is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, grassroots organization with approximately 300 affiliates and 2 million members and supporters nationwide. MADD is one of the nation's largest crime victim assistance organizations, serving over 55,000 victims in 2009. For more information about MADD's Campaign To Eliminate Drunk Driving and Walk Like MADD, please visit www.madd.org/co and www.walklikemadd.org.
SOURCE Mothers Against Drunk Driving Colorado