MADD Nat. Pres. welcomes officers to the fight

By Colleen Sheehey-Church

MADD National President

I had the pleasure recently to be part of a ceremony honoring 20 new graduates from the Drug Recognition Expert Academy, which brings the total in the state of New York to 250.

MADD New York Executive Director Rich Mallow organized the event, which featured Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco and Deputy Sheriff Michael Kern, Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Drug Coordinator Renée Borden, and MADD New York Advisory Board member Cheryl Haiken.

I told the officers that every day MADD is thankful for what they do, and we realize that, as they save lives, they are often putting their own lives at risk. Their presence makes people think twice about getting behind the wheel when they’re impaired. 

It’s always an honor for me to thank the men and women who work so hard to keep our roads safe. And that night at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead, N.Y. as I handed out New York 1192 Breast Bar Awards for Drugged Driving Enforcement, I thanked each officer personally. With their continued help, one day, there will be NO MORE VICTIMS®.

The day the music died

Caroline Sue Sine of St. Petersburg, Florida died August 15, 2016, from injuries she sustained after the car she was driving was struck on the driver’s side by an alleged drunk driver who ran a red light. She and her boyfriend Sean Hankins were returning from a night at the movies. Fortunately, Sean survived and he expects to fully recover from what was tragically a preventable crash. The other driver had been convicted of a prior DUI offense. Caroline was just 34 years old.

After graduating from the University of South Florida’s Music program, Caroline taught music in the Pinellas County Florida school system. She taught at Sexton, Blanton, Bay Point, Bay Vista, and Pinellas Central Elementary schools. She was an excellent teacher, leader, and was loved and respected by both students and peers. More than 400 attended an emotional farewell at the Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center. Caroline was highly organized, had a passion for teaching chorus and band, and taught violin privately after school. She participated in community chorus in St. Petersburg and developed an after-school music program for underprivileged children. She sought to include iPad technology in her classes so that students could learn to write and create music.

Caroline’s infectious enthusiasm and 3000-watt smile touched the lives and hearts of many, she was an avid runner, and played softball in league sports around St. Petersburg.

Caroline overcame many difficulties to reach her state in life, as a NICU baby, she struggled in her first 6 1/2 weeks of life. She needed an extra year to complete her studies at both Broward Community College and the University of South Florida, but she never quit, and always maintained her cheerfulness, enthusiasm, and determination. She always found a solution to whatever challenged her.  She was a thriver, not just a survivor. She sought to continuously improve in life.

Team ‘Barracuda,’ named for one of her favorite songs, and Team ‘Butterfly Bean Sweet Caroline’ have formed for the upcoming 'Walk Like MADD’ to be held in Largo, Florida, November 19, 2016.  Team members are walking to end drunk driving in Pinellas County and all of Florida so that tragedies like Caroline’s don’t continue to happen.  These teams support MADD’S effort to promote laws which require ignition interlock devices that will prevent multiple DUI offenders from driving under the influence of alcohol.  These devices can save lives. 

Will you help Team ‘Barracuda’, Team ‘PCMEA Remembers Sweet Caroline’, and Team ‘Butterfly Bean Sweet Caroline’ support MADD’s goal to end drunk driving in Pinellas County and all throughout all of Florida?

A year three decades in the making

In 1986, the country encountered a new concept and phrase – designated driver. 

MADD proudly played a part in popularizing the phrase, which describes the role a nondrinking driver plays in ensuring everyone gets home safely after a celebration or event with alcohol. 

Project Red Ribbon, later called Tie On One For Safety®, a campaign aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of holiday drinking and driving, also launched that year. We asked people to tie a red ribbon to their cars or trucks to remind people to always designate a non-drinking driver.

This year, we, along with National Presenting Sponsor Nationwide®, are proud to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the “designated driver” and MADD’s Tie One On For Safety® campaign. As we head into the winter season, we recognize that, sadly, there is still a need for red ribbons, and we hope to make this the safest holiday season yet. 

“The holidays are meant to be a time of celebration, not tragedy,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “Drunk driving is 100 percent preventable, and we need everyone to pull together to create a future of No More Victims®.”

“Request a ribbon, and let others see it so they know you support finding a safe way home before the celebration begins,” she said. 

Last year, nearly 11,000 people were killed by drunk driving. If we want to decrease that number, we have to make a significant difference during November and December, which typically contains some of the deadliest days on our roads.

What can you do?

• Putting safety before the party and always designate a non-drinking driver BEFORE the celebration begins to ensure everyone arrives home safely.

• Display a MADD red ribbon in a visible location on your vehicles. Red ribbons, magnets and window decals are available here or at select Nationwide agent locations.

• Hosting parties responsibly by offering mocktails and other non-alcoholic beverages, and by providing alternate transportation or accommodations for guests who have been drinking. Get more safe party tips here. 

Order your free special-edition ribbon today. Help us celebrate this anniversary with a gift of $35, and we will share a decal with you. 

Atlanta Falcons honor survivor Emily Bowman on game day

The Atlanta Falcons recognized survivor Emily Bowman on the field during the Oct. 30 Atlanta Falcons-Green Bay Packers game at the Georgia Dome. Emily served as Honorary Captain during the coin toss and was applauded by game attendees.

Emily was a college student at Georgia’s Kennesaw State University when she was struck as a pedestrian on Feb. 16, 2013 by a drunk driver who fled the scene in Athens, GA. The driver was indicted on 13 counts and sentenced to 20 years, with the first 10 in confinement, followed by 10 years on probation. 

Emily and her mother, Debbie Bowman, have been featured guests at MADD Georgia events and have shared Emily’s inspiring story of recovery. They also donate their time to make a difference at MADD Georgia’s Victim Impact Panels, where DUI offenders hear of the lasting and long-term effects of substance impaired driving.

MADD Georgia State Advisory Board member and Rise Up and Run 5K /Walk Like MADD co-chair Angela Blank said, “Arthur and I were so pleased that Emily was able to join us on the field, so her strength and determination could be highlighted for attendees and viewers alike. We are humbled by her courage and are so appreciative of her support of MADD Georgia.”

Giving Tuesday Resource Center

How to serve as a MADD #GivingTuesday Ambassador

Thank you for helping MADD spread the message about Giving Tuesday, which takes place Tuesday, Nov. 29th.

We have an exciting new opportunity to make this year even better – Nationwide will DOUBLE all Giving Tuesday gifts – but ONLY if we raise $24,000. I know we can achieve it together!

Throughout the day, MADD will honor and remember one victim of drunk and drugged driving every hour of Giving Tuesday as a reminder that we are giving for those we CAN save and those we’ve lost.

These next few weeks are crucial. Help us inspire others to give back on #GivingTuesday. Here are six ways you can help:

  1. Update your profile picture: Add our Giving Tuesday Twibbon to your profile picture. We even have tweets, posts and graphics available in our Giving Tuesday toolkit.

  2. Volunteer: Give back by giving your time. Ask your local MADD office how you can assist them on Giving Tuesday.

  3. Invite other ambassadors: Giving Tuesday is more fun with friends, family, coworkers, and partners, so we encourage you to ask others to join you as a Giving Tuesday ambassador. You can do this via email, on social media, or in-person. If using social media, use the hashtag #GivingTuesday.

  4. Send an email: Send an email to your friends and family inviting them to participate on Giving Tuesday. Don't know what to say? We have you covered with a pre-written template in the toolkit.

  5. Share your story: I am giving in honor of my son, Dustin. Let people know why you are giving. I am sending an email to my friends and family – and you can too!

  6. Get social: Tweet, post, snap, and share through whatever social media channels you use to help us build momentum. Use #GivingTuesday with all your posts.

I know we can do it!

Thank you,


Colleen Sheehey-Church
MADD National President

Facebook post:

  • I’m giving to MADD’s #GivingTuesday in honor of [ENTER VICTIM NAME]. Join me to end drunk driving. #NoMoreVictims {Click here to post this}
  • MADD gives back all year long by helping victims of drunk and drugged driving. Let’s make sure they can keep up the good work next year! Join me on 11/29 for #GivingTuesday {Click here to post this}
  • MADD aims to raise $24,000 on #GivingTuesday, 11/29 to receive a dollar-for-dollar match! A different victim of drunk and drugged driving will be honored every year of the day. Help me fight drunk driving by giving to MADD on #GivingTuesday. {Click here to post this}
  • [Enter BUSINESS NAME] will DOUBLE your donation when you give to MADD on #GivingTuesday, 11/29. Help us end drunk driving #NoMoreVictims {Click here to post this}
  • You up for a challenge? @Nationwide will double MADD’s #GivingTuesday donations but only if we raise $24,000. Let’s give back and help make our roads safer! {Click here to post this}

Twitter posts:


Giving Tuesday banner


Social graphics

Sample Email

Invite your friends and family to join with you on Giving Tuesday

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