MADD ceremony includes Dodge County families
The stories are in many ways different. A five month old in a car seat barely old enough to smile, a teenager out with friends, a parent running a few last errands of the day or a grandparent shopping for gifts for their children and grandchildren.
That is where the differences end, however, as each of these people were killed by a drunk driver.
The Mothers Against Drunk Driver (MADD) Olmsted County, which also includes some surrounding counties such as Dodge County, had its Victim Plaque Ceremony Monday night at the Evangel United Methodist Church in Rochester.
”My sister Sue was driving home from a basketball game,” said MADD Minnesota Executive Director Art Morrow. “She was killed by a drunk driver.”
This landed Morrow in MADD, a tight-knit organization where most people find help after the death of a loved one at the hands of drunk and impaired drivers.
Morrow said, “I give all of you who are here who have lost someone my deepest condolences.”
“I am glad to be here to celebrate the lives of those we have lost.”
An elderly man, who did not offer his name, stood in the last row and said, “Tonight would have been my daughter’s birthday. I just wanted you all to know that.”
In 33 years it is reported that MADD has helped drop the number of impaired-driving deaths by 50 percent.
“We will never know how many lives we have helped saved,” Morrow said. “But we know we have helped save many.”
MADD has many different goals and aspirations. They stress that parents talk to their children about making good choices.
“Studies have shown that the number one influence on young people is not their peers,” Morrow said. “The biggest influences on the lives of young people are their parents or a close relative.”