Lila (right) with National President Colleen Sheehey-Church and another volunteer

Lila Doud’s life was forever changed on December 8, 1983 when her daughter Lori was hit and injured by a drunk driver.

The impact on her family and her daughter Lori’s quality of life prompted Lila to spend the next 34 years actively working to end drunk driving in Pennington County, South Dakota.  On Thursday, December 7th, on the eve of Lori’s 34th crash anniversary, law enforcement, government officials, victims and MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church, gathered to pay tribute to Lila’s legacy and the 55 victims that lost their lives to drunk driving in 2017.

From victim to advocate

During Lila’s dedicated years of service to MADD she has been a strong supporter and advocate for law enforcement, has worked on legislation for stricter drunk driving laws, volunteered at DUI checkpoints, worked with youth and undoubtedly been a lifeline and a shoulder to cry on for fellow victims.  Lila shared that her decision to retire from MADD was a difficult one, but on the heels of recent nuptials, Lila has decided it’s time to pass the baton.

With her longtime volunteer and friend Connie Hobbs taking on the role, Lila can be confident that her hard work will continue as the role of Chapter Leader transitions to another who understands the turmoil of this senseless crime.  Connie and her two daughters were hit by a repeat drunk driver as she was out delivering valentines on February 14,1994. While Connie and her younger daughter Rachel recovered from their injuries, her oldest daughter Lesley, 9 years old, never woke from her coma and passed away due to her injuries the following week.  Connie has been volunteering alongside Lila for the past 20 years learning from her mentor and dedicating her talents to the organization under Lila’s leadership.  While they are big shoes to fill, we are certain that MADD South Dakota is in good hands.

Words cannot truly express MADD’s gratitude for the countless hours Lila has dedicated to this mission and her community.  We know that this was not the calling that she asked for, but we are so extremely grateful for her service.  Her legacy will live on in the many hearts that she touched and the lives that she saved through her tireless fight to end drunk driving.