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Kicking off Tie One On For Safety with MADD Connecticut (Guest Blog)
By Guest Blogger | December 18, 2014 | Filed in: Drunk Driving

By Colleen Sheehey-Church, MADD President Elect

As snow was falling gently in Hartford, I joined MADD Connecticut to kick off the 28th annual Tie One On For Safety® campaign. I had a chance to speak at the news conference along with Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, Hartford Police Chief James Rovella, Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker, MADD Connecticut Executive Director Janice Heggie Margolis and several others.

The message from everyone was “don’t drink and drive.” It was heartwarming to know that there is a strong, consistent message from all those involved. It was also impressive to see law enforcement officers and first responders on hand to be recognized for the tremendous work they do on our roads.

One first responder, paramedic Donavan Alden, was specifically honored. In March of 2014, Donavan was killed by an alleged drunk driver as he was heading to work. His mother Ellen was there to ceremonially tie the first red ribbon on to an ambulance. The light snow falling couldn’t help me think of tiny frozen tears from the heavens in honor of Donavan.

The ribbons and magnets are part of MADD’s Tie One On For Safety campaign. They’re displayed to remind everyone to plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver when going to celebrations this holiday season. It’s also a reminder that if you see someone driving drunk, call 911. Contact your local office to find out how to get a red ribbon for your car.

May each of you have a safe and joyous holiday season.


Other Ways to Support MADD this Holiday Season
By MADD | December 17, 2014 | Filed in: General

Untitled Document

We are very fortunate to have such wonderful supporters who choose to give so generously, especially during the holidays when drunk driving is even more prevalent. While monetary donations are incredibly important and very much appreciated, there are other ways you can get involved and help MADD this holiday season:

Donate your Vehicle

How can you save lives with an unwanted car?  By donating it to MADD! Better yet, you can get a tax deduction at the same time. It’s a win-win!

Donating is easy. We accept all types of vehicles in any condition — from cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, ATVs, as well as boats. Even a vehicle that isn’t running can be sold for parts and contribute hundreds of dollars to support MADD’s mission. Learn more at www.carsformadd.org.

Include MADD in your Will

To make a charitable bequest to MADD, you need a current will or revocable living trust. Your gift can be made as a percentage of your estate, or you can make a specific bequest by giving a certain amount of cash, securities or property. After your lifetime, Mothers Against Drunk Driving receives your gift. Click here to learn more about planned giving.

Walk Like MADD®

Walk Like MADD is your chance to do something about drunk driving in your community. You can help MADD eliminate drunk driving by signing up for a Walk Like MADD event near you as a walker, team captain, or volunteer, and raising funds to support MADD’s lifesaving mission. You can even be involved without attending the event by signing up as a virtual walker or making a donation to another walker or team. Find you Walk and get involved at www.walklikemadd.org.

Event Ticket Donation

Have a ticket to a sporting event, concert or other entertainment affair that you can’t use? Thanks to a partnership with tix4cause.com, an e-marketplace that sells event tickets, you can turn that ticket into a cash donation for MADD. It’s simple.  Just donate your tickets to MADD using tix4cause, and when someone purchases these tickets, 90% of the ticket sales benefits MADD. Click here to learn more.

 

Fundraise in Honor of a Loved One

MADD’s online tribute pages provide victims and survivors a way to share their story and honor a loved one impacted by drunk driving. Through your tribute page, you will also have the option to raise money for MADD’s mission in honor of yourself or your loved one. Donations to MADD do so many things, from saving lives to serving people through MADD’s victim services. Every donation makes a difference. Create your tribute at www.madd.org/tributes

Volunteer

Volunteers are the heart and soul of MADD. It is their compassion and determination that drives the organization, and it is their tireless efforts that have accomplished so much. Whether you’re interested in volunteering a couple of times a year or a couple of times a week, there’s a place for you at MADD. And we have a wide variety of opportunities to match your interests and expertise. Learn more at www.madd.org/volunteer.


Drunk Driving Deaths Continue to Top 10,000
By MADD | December 16, 2014 | Filed in: Drunk Driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) just announced that while drunk driving deaths decreased last year, they once again topped 10,000.

While we’re thankful to see this number has gone down, that still means that 10,076 families are now left with an empty chair at the dinner table this holiday season... 10,076 people’s loved ones are left with broken hearts.

We are frustrated that we aren’t saving enough lives fast enough. Every single one of these deaths is preventable, and yet the nation seems to be complacent and even accepting of the fact that one out of three traffic deaths on the roads is caused by a drunk driver.

Since the launch of MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®, 24 states have passed an all offender ignition interlock law, and drunk driving deaths are down by more than 24 percent since 2006. The Campaign calls for more high visibility law enforcement through sobriety checkpoints, all convicted drunk drivers to use an ignition interlock device, and the development of advanced vehicle technology, like the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS), which could one day eliminate drunk driving completely. 

At the press conference today, MADD National President issued two national challenges out of MADD’s Campaign, both proven to effectively reduce drunk driving fatalities: sobriety checkpoints and ignition interlocks.

Click here to find out what lifesaving legislation – like ignition interlocks and sobriety checkpoints – MADD is spearheading in your state and take action.

We know that there is still much work to be done, and we won’t stop until there are no more drunk driving deaths... no more victims. I hope that you’ll stand with us until we achieve that goal.

With your help, we’re confident that we will see the end of drunk driving!

Please help raise awareness about the magnitude of tragedy drunk driving continues to cause by sharing this image with your social networks networks in honor of the 10,076 lives lost last year to this 100 percent preventable crime:

 

Tweet: 10,076 people were killed last year in drunk driving crashes. RT to help raise awareness. http://ctt.ec/Jcr49+ http://ctt.ec/7ZBHt+


The Holidays Look A Little Different Now
By MADD | December 12, 2014 | Filed in: Victim Services , Drunk Driving

When Bryan Kranek was just 17-years-old, his life changed in an instant. He was rollerblading home from a babysitting job when a man with a BAC of .266 driving in excess of 40 mph on a residential street hit Bryan from behind. 

“In the blink of an eye, twelve days of my life became nothing but stories from other people as to what happened,” Bryan says.

Bryan was knocked unconscious instantly. Witnesses said he flew onto the truck’s hood, smashed his head in the driver’s windshield and was thrown 10-15 feet in the air, landing on a neighbor’s driveway. Bryan sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and was rushed to the emergency room where he immediately went into surgery to relieve the swelling of his brain. 

When Bryan was released from the hospital 23 days later, he had to relearn the basics, like how to walk and talk. He spent several months in speech, occupational and physical therapy to relearn all of the things people often take for granted.  Bryan was determined to work hard in his recovery.

“Honestly, I didn’t know there was any other option,” he said.

Bryan, now in his late twenties, still hasn’t fully recovered from his TBI and as a result, the holidays look a little different for him. His favorite part of the holiday season is gathering together with his family at his grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve to celebrate.  “It is a lot of fun and everyone is jovial.” But Bryan knows that because of his injury, he often gets tired quickly and can’t always keep up with everyone else throughout the day. 

He copes with the stress of the holidays and his TBI by taking a time out when he needs to.

“I hit the reset button and rejuvenate myself,” he explains.

Bryan’s advice for other injured victims is to remember the importance of self-care during the holidays, since they can be an especially difficult time. 

One thing that Bryan says helps him is making the holidays about others not himself – something that Bryan does all year round as a speaker at MADD Victim Impact Panels, running TBI support groups and working with kids with special needs. 


Teaming up with Connecticut to Prevent Drunk Driving this Holiday Season (Guest Blog)
By Guest Blogger | December 10, 2014 | Filed in: Drugged Driving , Drunk Driving

By Colleen Sheehey-Church, MADD President Elect

As we prepare for the holidays around the country, many states are holding press conferences to warn people about the dangers of drinking and driving during this high traffic period. My husband and I were invited to be with Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy at an event just before Thanksgiving.

A drunk driver killed our son Dustin ten years ago. Telling his story to others allows us to help people understand that drunk driving has a profound impact on our neighborhoods, our towns, our states and our nation. Drunk driving kills someone every 51 minutes, injures someone every 2 minutes and costs our country $132 billion a year. Most of all, we get to explain that it’s 100 percent preventable.

Governor Malloy, Connecticut State Police Commander Brian Meraviglia, Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora Schriro, MADD Connecticut Executive Director Janice Heggie Margolis and others spoke at the news conference. To see such a united front is heartwarming, and at the same time inspiring.

As you prepare for your holiday season, you can help support our Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® by reminding others not to drink and drive, by giving a ride to someone who’s had too much to drink, or helping them get a ride with a non-drinking driver. And if you see someone who’s drinking and driving, call 911. You can save a life.

Together we can eliminate drunk driving once and for all.

Governor Malloy

 

MADD President Elect Colleen Sheehey-Church with CRN Radio Interview

 

Skip Church

 

 

 


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