Anita DiMauro – Volunteer Extraordinaire
Anita DiMauro was there right from the beginning. Her contributions to MADD do not fit into a paragraph, a column, or even a whole page. This article can only give readers a glimpse of Anita’s role in MADD Hawaii’s nearly 40-year lifespan.
Anita has been an ever-ready helper and supporter. She didn’t necessarily want to be the leader or the chairman of a project or a committee. She just wanted to see a job get done. Anita’s personality usually got people laughing within 5 minutes of meeting her. Over the years, MADD volunteers were more than happy to serve with this woman who made any job fun.
Anita’s first involvement with MADD was just after the organization became chartered as the Honolulu Chapter. The year was 1984 when there were over 100 alcohol-related fatalities per year in our state.
In 1985, Anita helped with the new organization’s first fundraiser, “The MADD Roundup”, by selling lei to the guests attending the cowboy – and cowgirl – event on Fort Street Mall near MADD’s first office.
In 1986, MADD Hawaii held its second fundraiser, the MADD DASH, a 5k run/walk through downtown Honolulu. Once the committee figured out how to make the DASH fun AND profitable Anita went to work convincing large and small companies that being part of the DASH and helping MADD in general were essential for them. The DASH has been replaced by a similar event – Walk Like MADD – and Anita continued her volunteer support as a WLM committee member.
After the drinking age was raised to 21 in 1986, Anita became involved in educating high school and college students about the issue of underage drinking. Anita helped MADD Hawaii work with the Department of Education to create “Project Prom Graduation” to offer students a fun alcohol-free graduation night.
MADD Hawaii’s circulation of red ribbons in 1986 began as a very small project. As the program matured and became statewide, there was eventually a need for hundreds of thousands of red ribbons to be distributed statewide. Of course, Anita was right there with her own bags of thousands of ribbons to cut and distribute to local schools, grocery chains, and other pickup locations. Each year, the trunk of Anita’s car became a “storehouse” of cartons of MADD’s red ribbons to be distributed to Oahu sites.
All through the years we could always count on Anita to do whatever was needed to get the job done. In 2021, Anita became MADD Hawaii’s first Director Emeritus.
We thank Anita DiMauro for all the time and effort and humor she shared with MADD Hawaii for much of her life.