We had hoped that since the Memphis Zoo was open for business, that we might be able to hold our West Tennessee Walk Like MADD as a live event. But, we recently polled past and present participants to gauge their comfort level at joining us for a live event and many expressed concern. Because of that, and the ongoing state of COVID-19 transmission, current CDC recommendations and local mandates and/or restrictions, we have decided to convert the West Tennessee Walk Like MADD that is scheduled for August 29, 2020, in Memphis to a Virtual Walk Event.
Please know that your health and safety are our top priority and it is vital to us to do everything we can to protect our #MADDFAmily. We also understand that this is an important event to so many of our victims/survivors and their families. It is an avenue to healing and an opportunity to give voice to those who can no longer walk with us. We hope that you all will still join us as we conduct this event virtually.
The Walk Like MADD event also brings in much needed funds to support victims services and prevention/educational programming in our state. Though the world has changed, MADD is still providing free victims services to those who have been impacted by impaired driving crashes at a time when our victims need us most. It is even more important in these uncertain times that our victims know MADD is still here and available for the emotional support and guidance on which they have come to rely. We are proud to be working virtually to continually meet these needs. We are also still working diligently to provide online programming to help parents and students understand the dangers of underage drinking and drugs, to show offenders the real-life consequences of impaired driving crashes through our Victim Impact Panel program, and to monitor DUI court cases through our Court Monitoring program to ensure they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. To continue to provide these critical services, your support is needed now more than ever! Our Virtual West Tennessee Walk is an important part of helping us continue to do what we do and we thank you, in advance, for your participation!
So let’s talk about how this will work:
How is a Virtual Walk Event different from our normal live Walk Event?
On Event Day, we will lay out our Walk route on private property with our Walk Signs and other info. But, instead of all our participants physically gathering together, we will gather via Facebook Live. Then, as our staff follows our Walk route, we encourage all of our Walk participants to join us virtually and walk along with us in your own neighborhood. We will also have some interactive ways for you to let us know you are taking part with electronic Remembrance Boards and other commentary or activities.
What about Team Alley and all the Victim Tables?
For our live Walk Like MADD events, teams are invited to set-up a table on “Team Alley” to display momentos and photos to honor and remember those for whom they walk. For our virtual walk, we will offer an online Team Alley. Click here for instructions on how to participate by sending us a brief video to represent your team’s table. In short, you can set up an actual “table” in your home and decorate it as you would at a live event, then do a video describing the items on display, or you can simply walk around your home showing us your photos and momentos as they are normally displayed there. The videos will be posted to our Team Alley page and available to view shortly after we receive them. They will stay active even past the virtual Walk event date. Though our teams won’t be able to have an actual table at our walk location, we are excited to offer this alternative that actually allows your “table” to be viewed for a much longer timeframe with our virtual option!
What about our team and personal Walk pages?
Our Walk site with all our individual and team pages will function the same. You will register to participate and set-up your pages at walklikemadd.org/WestTN. But there will be some cool new tools available for participants to use including an option to do livestreaming from your own walk page and to set milestones for your team. Don’t worry: we have instructions for you which can be found in the Participant Center.
Will Registration be different?
If you have not already registered, you will have the choice of registering as a Virtual Adult Walker or a Virtual Youth Walker (ages 5-18.) Registration fees for our virtual event will be discounted by $5 throughout the entire registration period now that the event is virtual. So instead of the normal registration fees of $25/adult and $20/youth for our live event, the registration fees will be $20/adult and $15/youth. In addition, since the event is online, registration will remain open right up to the Start Time of the event. On the day of the event, Check-in Time will begin at 10:15am CT which is 15 minutes before the Start Time, so that everyone can get logged-on to Facebook Live before our Opening Ceremony starts at 10:30am CT.
What is the same?
Teams/walkers will still use their own Walk pages to help spread awareness about MADD’s mission and engage friends, family, coworkers, and their community to donate to their page. As always, it is important that you customize your page to help people understand why supporting MADD is important to you. (Click here and go to page 3 for instructions on how to customize your page.) If you raise at least $150, you will also still have the opportunity to earn some great MADD logo merchandise. You become eligible for more gear the more you raise. Additionally, we will still honor and recognize the folks who raise the most with our Top Walker and Top Team awards during the virtual Opening Ceremony. Finally, on event day, we will still have Walk signs that tell the stories of the victims and survivors for whom we walk. Those are the signs that will be posted on our Walk route and broadcast during the Facebook Live event.
What else is different?
Another part of the live event which everyone enjoys is seeing all of our corporate, community, and law enforcement partners join us with demonstrations and tables to talk about why they support MADD’s mission. Since they can’t join us in-person, we will also have a Virtual Partner Page available so that everyone can still get the benefit of learning about some of our fabulous and dedicated supporters! Make sure you check them out!