As warmer temperatures arrive, so do Walk Like MADD events around the country. Recently, I was fortunate enough to attend Walks in South Carolina and New York.
In Columbia, South Carolina, the Mayo family was honored. Their 15-year-old son Brandon was killed by a drunk driver, and ever since, Brandon’s dad has been driving for UBER in Brandon’s memory. He talks to every passenger about the dangers of drinking and driving and thanks them for calling him for a ride. UBER was the presenting sponsor for the event, organized by Executive Director Steve Burritt and his team.
Having lost our son Dustin to a drunk driver, I can empathize with the Mayo’s. On this day, after I spoke of our son, a little boy ran up to me, gave me a hug and said, “I’ll be your son.” Kal-El, who is struggling with health issues was focused on me and my pain instead of his own. It’s moments like those that make me realize that all of you lift me up far more than I can ever lift you at these events.
One unique aspect of the South Carolina Walk is that five Sobriety Checkpoints were being conducted across the state and were on Facebook Live. It was great for all the walkers to see the Law Enforcement officers making an impact on the road while they were making an impact at the Walk Like MADD event.
Walk Like MADD on Long Island in New York took place at the spectacular Northwell Health Jones Beach Theater overlooking Zach’s Bay. Great staff and great volunteers were joined by a host of dignitaries including Adam Citron, GM Live Nation Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater, Madeline Singas, Nassau County District Attorney and Laura Curran, Nassau County Executive.
All of us talked about the devastating crime of drunk driving and how we must continue to; Honor he victims, survivors and first responders, Act by raising our voices and stopping the violence, and Give our time, money and support.
The staff and volunteers honored me with a beautiful MADD National President jacket that I’ll cherish and wear proudly. It was another reason for me to always appreciate returning to the state in which I was born. To all of the staff, volunteers and walkers in South Carolina, New York and around the country, thanks for all you do.
You’re helping us move closer to a day when there will be NO MORE VICTIMS®.