East TN Walk Like MADD Goes Virtual

Due to the current uncertainty surrounding the extension of the various Stay-at-Home orders in our cities, counties, state, and country, we have decided to convert the East Tennessee Walk Like MADD that was originally scheduled for late May in Knoxville to a Virtual Walk Event. To allow us plenty of time for this transition, we will also postpone the date of the event until Saturday, June 20, 2020.

We hope you understand that your health and safety are our top priority. To protect our #MADDFAmily, it is important that we stay fully compliant with CDC guidelines and the orders issued by governing authorities. We believe this decision is in the best interest of our Walk participants and will allow us to continue with this event no matter what changes take place in the coming weeks.

The Walk Like MADD event is a very important event for MADD as it 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 online 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 East 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.

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. Watch for us to share more details and 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 and 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/easttn. 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’ll provide more details and instructions soon on how to take advantage of these new, fun ways to promote your team!

Will Registration be different?

When you register, 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 12:45pm which is 15 minutes before the Start Time, so that everyone can get logged-on to Facebook Live before our Opening Ceremony starts at 1pm ET.

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. 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?

We know everyone enjoys getting together and seeing their #MADDFamily, so we are planning to host a Celebration Picnic once it’s safe to gather in a group again. While we can’t confirm the date or details for that event just yet, we want our East Tennessee Walk teams to know we can’t wait to join you in-person to show our appreciation for your hard-work and faithful support to participate in this event. We also want to celebrate that with every virtual step you take, you help to make sure our friends and loved ones are not forgotten and you help to raise money that is crucial in supporting MADD with our mission to eliminate drunk driving, fight drugged driving, prevent underage drinking, and support the victims of these crimes! At our picnic, we also want to give you a gift, a MADD water bottle, something we hope you can use everyday. While you’re using it, know that it will also spread awareness of the mission of MADD to everyone who sees it!