After a drunk or drugged driving crash, grandparents are often left behind to pick up the pieces. And sometimes they even find themselves raising their grandchildren when a parent is killed, like Nina and Gary Walker, whose daughter Ginger was killed by a drunk driver at the age of 22 leaving behind her three-year-old son Shaye. The Walkers found themselves grieving the death of their daughter and helping their grandson cope at the same time.
The American Grandparents Association, the benefits organization of Grandparents.com, is joining forces with MADD to help eradicate these senseless deaths for their next generation of loved ones. Five dollars of the $15 annual American Grandparents Association membership dues paid by new and renewing MADD donors and supporters who join will go to help MADD save lives and serve victims of drunk and drugged driving.
The American Grandparents Association connects and nurtures America’s 70 million grandparents and their families, by giving them access to special benefits and information on topics that matter most—health, family, money and more.
MADD is privileged to work with both the American Grandparents Association and Grandparents.com, and we appreciate their support in helping us save lives and prevent injuries across the country.
MADD had boots on the ground in Phoenix, Ariz. last week at Super Bowl XLIX’s media center. For the fifth straight year, MADD talked to media center attendees about the dangers of drunk driving, the importance of underage drinking prevention, and MADD’s partnership with the NFL. As one of just three non-profits onsite and amongst a backdrop of over a 1,000 media outlets, athletes, and celebrities, MADD’s coveted presence speaks to the NFL’s commitment to providing a safe environment for fans and supporting MADD’s mission.
MADD CEO Debbie Weir observed a notable increase in traffic and interest in MADD’s presence this year compared to previous years; most likely due to the timely distribution of MADD and Uber’s joint data report about the impact of rideshare services on drunk driving. Uber also launched a Super Bowl Sunday CRM program that donated $1 to MADD for every ride nationwide between 3 p.m. and midnight EST (3 hours before, during and after the game) for every rider that entered the promo code “THINKANDRIDE.” Additionally, MADD utilized new NHTSA 2013 holiday data to capture media and public attention.
“The fact that Super Bowl Sunday continually ranks as one of the worst days of the year for drunk driving always gets people’s attention,” said Weir. “While we were in Phoenix last week, newly available 2013 NHTSA holiday traffic data revealed half of all traffic fatalities on Super Bowl Sunday 2013 involved a drunk driver; making it the second deadliest holiday of the year. That really resonated with the media and public alike, and raised awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving.”
Bringing that story to life firsthand was none other than Tennessee Titan and MADD Volunteer Delanie Walker, whose aunt and uncle were killed by a drunk driver just hours after watching him play in 2013’s Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. They left behind seven children. Since then, Walker has given selflessly of his time to volunteer with MADD and prevent others from experiencing a similar tragedy. Delanie participated in more than a dozen media interviews in Phoenix, during which he shared his story and talked about the importance of planning ahead for a safe ride home.
“Delanie is such a down-to-earth, authentic and compassionate person,” Weir said. “When he speaks about his grief and the loss of his aunt and uncle to a completely preventable crime, he does so in a way that not only engages the audience, but also makes them want to do something about the issue. MADD could not have a better voice than Delanie Walker.”
Fans were also allowed onsite at the Super Bowl media center this year, resulting in increased involvement in MADD’s and NFL Player Engagement’s #SelfiesForSafety campaign. People from all walks of life and different parts of the country stopped by to pledge not to drink and drive.
MADD is proud to partner with the NFL and bring attention to our mission to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking.
Thirty-five years after a grieving mother started one of the most influential and effective grassroots movements in history, we’re pleased to announce our new National President, Colleen Sheehey-Church, the first victim of drugged driving to serve as MADD’s National President.
Colleen’s 18-year-old son, Dustin, drowned after the car he was riding in, driven by a teen with alcohol and drugs in her system, crashed into a river, trapping Dustin in the vehicle. She joined MADD a year later in 2005. Read Dustin’s story here.
“No one ever dreams about becoming MADD’s National President, because it means that you have suffered the most unimaginable pain of a death or injury due to the preventable crime of drunk or drugged driving,” says Sheehey-Church. “I was drowning in grief after I lost my son, until I called MADD. I only wished I had called sooner. I’m honored and humbled to represent the victims we couldn’t save, stand alongside those we have and advocate to keep innocent lives safe on our nation’s roadways.”
Just in time for the New Year, we took the opportunity to freshen up our website to make it an even better resource to those interested in our mission. In addition to updating the look and functionality of the site, we also added a few new features, including:
- Anniversary logo. 2015 marks the beginning of a year-long celebration of MADD’s 35th anniversary. To mark the event, we are unveiling a new special edition of our logo.
- New strategic plan. To coincide with the beginning of our 35 year anniversary, we are releasing our new five-year agenda to saving more lives and supporting more victims. You can find it here.
- Local office map. Looking for your local office? Look no further. We now have a new map of all of our offices on our homepage. You can search by your zip code to see if there is a MADD Chapter or office near you.
- New section on drugged driving. In 2015, MADD is expanding its mission to take aim at this growing problem. This new section of the site includes the latest research and information available on this exciting new part of our mission.
We will continue to make updates to the site throughout the year, and we hope you like the new madd.org as much as we do!
The holidays are here and the end of 2014 is right around the corner! Which also means, my term as MADD’s National President is just about over.
I’m so proud of the progress we’ve made together this year and over the past three and a half years that I’ve spent as your National President. Thanks to you, each year we save more lives, serve more victims, and bring awareness to the dangers of drunk driving and underage drinking.
To show my thanks, I want to share with you a special holiday video message:
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything you have done this year to help save lives and serve victims. It has truly been an honor to serve as your National President.
MADD National President
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