BY KENDYL HOLLINGSWORTH
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Alabama is inviting the community to join in a walk Aug. 27 at 9 a.m.
According to the event page, “Walk Like MADD” is MADD’s signature fundraising event. The walk aims to raise awareness and funds to end drunken and drugged driving. This Saturday’s walk will be the first held in Auburn.
“MADD Alabama is thrilled to host our first Walk Like MADD in Auburn,” said Denise Blake, director of field operations for MADD. “With the release [last week] of the report of increased traffic fatalities and injuries so far this year, it is even more timely that we’re coming to share MADD’s life-saving mission.”
MADD National President Alex Otte released a statement in response to the recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which showed an uptick in car crash fatalities.
“People are dying on America’s roads at levels not seen since 2002, with no apparent plan to address this immediate crisis,” the statement reads. “… The latest estimates that 9,560 people were killed in traffic crashes in the first quarter of 2022 — a 7% increase over first quarter 2021 — indicate that lives taken by someone’s choice to drive impaired will reach the highest levels in over a decade at a time when traffic safety enforcement is down.”
More than six teams and 80 individuals are registered for the Auburn walk. One of those is Georgia resident Cynthia Hagain, whose mother, sister and sister’s fiancé were killed by an underage drunken driver. This experience led Hagain to join MADD two decades ago.
“I will be walking not just in memory of my own family, but for all those killed and injured … especially those that I have been blessed to meet while working at MADD,” Hagain wrote on her participant page. “I have met so many wonderful people who have had this crime committed against them or their loved ones. It needs to stop now.”
Participants will meet at the Auburn Public Safety Complex, located at 141 N. Ross St. The event will last about two hours and include a program before an approximately mile-long walk, according to Blake.
“We’re coming together to honor loved ones of those lost and injured to impaired driving crashes, and also share with the community the prevention and victim services offered by MADD,” Blake added.
For those who want to support the mission but can’t make it to the walk, there is a donate button on the event page: www.walklikemadd.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=1278.
As of Aug. 22, MADD had exceeded its $4,000 fundraising goal, but there is no cap on donations. People may also donate to MADD through participants who have set their own fundraising goals.
For more information, to register for the walk or to donate, visit the Walk Like MADD event page.