On January 20th, MADD staff and volunteer Patricia Voelker attended a memorial event for Myles Holland at Claflin University in Orangeburg called “A Mile for Myles.” Participants walked from campus to the crash site where Myles lost his life, approximately one mile to the scene and back.
Family, friends, fellow students, and fellow Omega Psi Phi Fraternity brothers gathered at the Claflin Chapel prior to the walk. Myles’s family and friends had t-shirts made for the participants. The turn-out to the event was a true testament to Myles’ kind and caring nature.
The walk began from the Chapel with music playing and participants cheering. Orangeburg Public Safety stopped traffic so that the crowd could cross the busy street in front of the University. Everyone was upbeat while walking for Myles. When everyone arrived at the crash site, the family spoke about Myles and how his legacy can save lives by persuading fellow students and others to always designate a driver. His family released purple and gold balloons, the colors of Myles’ fraternity, at the crash site. The family would return to the crash site, alone, later in the evening to place a handmade memorial.
Myles’ death inspired his family to start the Myles Project. Although still in the works, the purpose is to assist students, fraternities, and sororities in making the decision to designate a driver. The project will provide fraternities and sororities with disposable breathalyzers and education on the effects of drinking and driving.
There is no doubt, in speaking with Myles’ friends and family that he would have been humbled by the turn-out to the event. It was apparent that in his 23 years, he touched many people. Myles’ family has registered for Walk Like MADD Columbia on April 14th. Events such as our Walk Like MADD and A Mile for Myles are only the beginning for the Holland family. They plan to participate in and host more events to educate people on the dangers of drinking and driving, while remembering Myles.