Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — On a picture-perfect spring day, thousands of South Floridians ran or walked in solidarity to make the No More Victims® pledge a reality in the ongoing fight against drunk driving. It was the 8th Annual Ultimate Software presents the La Croix & Lennox National Account Services Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale 5K Brought to You by ProScapes on Sunday, April 29 in Huizenga Plaza.
With the support of sponsors, donors, runners and walkers, nearly $300,000 was raised again this year, bringing the eight-year cumulative total to over $1.5 million, all of which stays in this community to save lives and support victims of drunk driving. There are over10,000 drunk driving-related deaths and over 300,000 drunk driving-related injuries each year that are 100 percent preventable.
This year, E. Matthew ‘Whiz’ Buckley was the top fundraiser. “My sister was killed by a drunk driver in 1962 when she was a 19-year-old freshman at Villanova University. At the time, no one was there to help our family. Today MADD is here to support those victims get through their darkest day and to help pick up the pieces. I am honored and humbled to be part of such a noble cause,” said Buckley.
According to Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale Founder and Vice Chair of MADD’s National Board of Directors, Heather Geronemus, “Drunk driving is still the number one killer on our roadways nationwide, through awareness generating events like Walk Like MADD, proven educational programming inspiring smarter decision making, stronger ignition interlock legislation and advanced vehicle technology, we can see a future of No More Victims of Drunk Driving. MADD is honored to partner with the South Florida community to save lives and change minds before tragedy occurs.”
Geronemus’ father, Dr. Robert Perry Geronemus, was struck and killed by a drunk driver in 2009. In 2011, she chaired the first Walk Like MADD locally. Joining her this year as co-chair was Rachel Perz, general manager of BRIO Tuscan Grille in Plantation. In addition to the Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale 5K, the day’s festivities included children’s activities, an awards ceremony, live musical performances, vendor and educational booths.
Event sponsors included Signature Sponsor Ultimate Software; Title Sponsors La Croix Water and Lennox National Accounts; Presenting Sponsor ProScapes; Road Guardian Sponsors Aetna, Broward Sheriff’s Foundation and Broward College; Corporate Champion Sponsors Madalon Law and GreespooonMarder, and Spotlight Sponsors OK Generators, Miami Heat and Bank of America.
Although the event is over, donations will continue being accepted through May 31. “There’s still time to make a difference in the fight against drunk driving,” Geronemus said. Visit www.walklikemadd.org/fortlauderdale.
The 9th Annual Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale 5K will be held on Sunday, April 28, 2019. Sponsorships are available, visit www.walklikemadd.org/fortlauderdale.
Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every nine minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP. In South Florida, the chapter’s annual Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale 5K has raised more than $1.25 million since 2011. MADD’s Broward and Palm Beach chapters facilitate hundreds of free events each year to educate youth and parents on the dangers and consequences of impaired driving. Learn more at www.madd.org or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.