Over 200 people participated in the 2018 Middle TN Walk Like MADD at Centennial Park on September 8, 2018, to take part in a goal to end impaired driving. Twenty-six teams representing friends and families of victims of impaired driving, law enforcement partners, and corporate partners and supporters joined forces for this annual event that raises awareness for MADD’s mission and generates much needed funding as well. Doing a phenomenal job this year, this incredible group had already surpassed the event goal of $45,000 by the event date with still a month left to collect final pledges!
Teams start weeks, or sometimes months, in advance promoting their story online using the MADD Walk website to explain why participating in the Walk Like MADD for Mothers Against Drunk Driving is so important to them. For many, it is the loss of a friend or loved one that drives them to do something that would prevent another family from having to experience the same loss and pain their family has known. For others, it is the courage that says, “I am a survivor. I will not let this tragedy control me or cripple me.” They walk, limp, or roll just for the accomplishment of knowing they have done it. It is a statement of strength and perseverance. Their MADD family walks beside them to support them and encourage them, that with every step, they overcome, and take back a piece of what has been lost.
The event presents an amazing opportunity to share the message of MADD with the community as well. In Nashville, walkers circle the beautiful lake at Centennial Park to complete all or part of the 5K Walk. Not only do park attendees see event walkers carrying signs with photos of who and why they walk, but the walk route is also lined with signs telling the stories of Tennessee victims and with signs that tell what MADD Tennessee does with the money raised through the Walk. The signs talk about programming in Tennessee that is changing lives. They show how our efforts to educate the public on the dangers of drunk and drugged driving have been successful, list comments made from Victim Impact Panel attendees indicating how attitudes are influenced by victim speakers, describe how we are supporting law enforcement efforts to stop impaired drivers, and share how we support victims who’ve been impacted by these crimes. We often see non-Walk participants reading the signs and/or stopping to talk to volunteers or walkers to ask about what they’ve read or are seeing. Some even stop by to donate and support our mission!
We are so very proud of these families and partners who work so hard to help us end drunk driving, fight drugged driving, prevent underage drinking, and support the victims of these crimes. We also want to extend a special thank you to our event sponsors. This years’s Platinum Sponsors were Nissan and State Farm! We could not have done it without you!
Team Alley – tables representing teams who walk in honor of friends/loved ones:
Additional News Coverage:
WKRN Channel 2, Families: “Walk like MADD” against impaired driving
WSMV Channel 4, Walk Like M.A.D.D.’ event at Centennial Park