Michael Finely was the 5th of 6 kids and was always the joker. He was constantly making people laugh. He grew up running around in our big yard, driving go-carts, riding dirt bikes, and playing football. Michael was passionate about his family as a son and brother and grandson, and always made time for them.

Michael was in Falcon D-49 since he was in preschool and stayed there through his senior year. He was involved in numerous school programs including student council, Air Force JROTC, and football.

He was killed a month and a half before his high school graduation by a repeat offender drunk driver. When Michael passed away, many of his classmates, coworkers and even strangers came forward and said that he was kind to them, he stood up for them and made them feel better when they were down. He made such a big mark on the world.  The world is missing an impressive young man. So many will miss his hugs, his smile and his kind gestures.

Our family participates in Walk Like MADD for many reasons. The biggest reason is that we want to raise as much awareness as possible! Spreading the word and preventing more families from losing their “Michaels” is our mission. Also, doing this walk and raising money is our way of being able to show Michael our love and how much he still means to us although he is no longer with us.

Creating a team of people to fight against drunk driving is crucial for combating this preventable act that occurs WAY too often. We come together to remember all of the victims that were taken too soon. Creating a dialogue and having many people coming together with the same goal is what will accomplish awareness and change in others. Drinking and driving kills! The more people that come together and speak out about it will only create more conversation and knowledge.

Participating in Walk Like MADD, especially the first time after we lost Michael, was such an eye opening experience for our family. Memory mile really illustrated what a problem drunk driving is and stirred emotions in all of us. We were also able to connect with other families of victims who provided us with support and advice when things were still very fresh and hard to navigate. That was the day that we realized what a great organization MADD is that they bring together hurting families and unite them for a cause bigger than themselves. Walk Like MADD is a chance for us all to come together, heal and raise awareness! You can’t get much better than that!

Join MADD at the Colorado Springs Walk Like MADD on September 7, 2019! Register here.