My career with Tucson Electric Power Company (TEP) began in September 1991. In March 1993, fellow employee Robert “Bubba” Bills was struck and killed while on the job by a drunk driver.
Not long after, TEP launched its aggressive “Drunk Driving Will Put Your Lights Out” campaign, and, with TEP and its employees taking an active role in community service, I was introduced to MADD and potential volunteer opportunities.
A Legacy Began
Over the course of 20+ years I have been involved in a number of MADD events – Candlelight Vigil, Walk Like MADD, and Victim Impact Panels – as well as served as a board member of the Southern Arizona Chapter.
Having a co-worker killed and seeing the devastating aftermath really opened my eyes. In addition, I was the father of two young children at the time. It made me able to look at and question my own behavior(s) and realize the potential consequences if I didn’t make some personal changes in my life.
Volunteering for MADD over the years has no doubt had more of a profound impact on me than I could ever make as a volunteer.
During the last several years, prior to my retirement at TEP, I became the company liaison for MADD, and given the opportunity to be a project coordinator, which more recently was rallying the troops to participate in MADD’s annual walk.
Walk Like MADD
Walk Like MADD has been an excellent way to support MADD’s mission — in a very visual way — be it as a victim, survivor, or community member simply hoping to make a difference. I’ve enjoyed not only being part of the TEP contingent participating, but proud of the strong showing from the company.
Over the years I’ve experienced walks in warm weather, cold weather, rained out and rescheduled, low to high participation.
Walk Like MADD is a great way to publicly display support and encouragement, spotlight the issue, and keep MADD’s mission in the forefront.
I’m convinced MADD is now (and has been for a couple years) on a trajectory path, which will only encourage more and more participation this year and into the future. I will continue my support as a proud MADD volunteer.
As a Victim Impact Panel facilitator, I always share with the attendees, “Yes, there is a drunk driving problem locally. But the cavalry is not riding in to save us. We are the community, and if we don’t fix ourselves, the problem won’t go away.”
So long as there is a need for MADD’s services, and a need for people to assist in its success, I will continue to try and do my part.