Knoxville Zoo 500xWalkers seemed to love having the East Tennessee Walk Like MADD on Saturday, June 1, 2019, at the Knoxville Zoo.  The intimate event, attended by 55 participants from eight teams kicked-off with an Opening Ceremony in the event room with a second-story view of the beautiful Bear Falls. MADD State Program Director, Phaedra Marriott-Olsen congratulated Team Kyrstin for being the Top Fundraising Team and Carol Akers of Team Jamming for Jacob as being the Top Individual Fundraiser for the event.  She then thanked sponsor, State Farm, and introduced agent, Petie Wilson, who shared a few words with the group.  Phaedra gave a special thanks to Sgt. Samuel Henard of the Knoxville Police Department who serves on the MADD Tennessee State Advisory board and had worked hard at bringing an East Tennessee Walk back to the area.  She then invited the Captains from each Walk Team to share why they were involved with this year’s event.  Most of the teams were walking for loved ones who had been killed or injured in impaired driving crashes.  Each of them had been invited to set-up tables with photos and momentos to honor and remember their loved ones.  The tables lined the room and gave  victims/survivors a chance to meet and connect with other families who had gone through similar heartache.

Little Girl with Walk Remembrance Board 500xAfter a few last minute instructions, the group moved downstairs and gathered by the Falls for the official Walk to begin.  Walkers carried Walk Remembrance Boards with photos and/or names of those for whom they walked and followed a path of Walk Route signs throughout the zoo that included victim stories and signs sharing how money raised for the event would be used to further the mission of MADD.

So far the event has raised almost $8,000 towards it’s $10,000 goal, but walkers have until July 1 to turn in final donations to Team Captains or accept donations to their Walk websites online.  Go to www.walklikemadd.org/easttn to see a full list of teams and make your donation in support of one or more of these teams!

Click here for a full event photo album.

Click below for one of our Facebook Live feeds from the day of the event:

Opening Ceremony

Walk Kick-Off

Walkers during Walk