Thousands of walkers and runners made strides in the ongoing fight against drunk driving during the 9th Annual Ultimate Software presents the La Croix & Lennox National Account Services Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale 5k brought to you by Memorial Healthcare System and UBS on Sunday, April 28.
With the support of sponsors, donors, runners and walkers, over $325,000 was raised this year, bringing the nine-year cumulative total to over $2 million, making it the most successful grassroots fundraiser in the history of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. All event proceeds benefit MADD Broward & Palm Beach’s community education, victim support services and youth programs. There are over 10,000 drunk driving-related deaths and over 300,000 drunk driving-related injuries each year that are 100 percent preventable.
Raising over $30,000, Matthew “Whiz” Buckley from Team Top Gun Options was the overall top fundraiser for the second consecutive year.
“Drunk driving is still the largest traffic safety crisis in America, causing over one-third of traffic fatalities a year in our country,” said Heather Geronemus, founder of Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale and vice chair of MADD’s National Board of Directors. “We are working to see a future with no more victims, and with the support of the community, we are able to host awareness generating events like Walk Like MADD. Drunk driving deaths and injuries are 100 percent preventable and our sponsors, donors, runners and walkers have really come together 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, and honorary chairs Matthew ‘Whiz’ Buckley and Major Robert Chandler. 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 and vendor/educational booths.
Event sponsors included Signature Sponsor Ultimate Software; Title Sponsors La Croix Water and Lennox National Accounts; Presenting Sponsors Memorial Healthcare System and UBS; State Safety Champion Sponsor Alert Today Florida; Road Guardian Sponsors Aetna, Broward Sheriff’s Foundation and Broward Sheriff’s Advisory Council; Corporate Champion Sponsors Brandsmart USA, Greenspoon Marder, Office Depot, Rubin, Turnbull & Associates, The Leo Goodwin Foundation and 411 Pain.
Although the event is over, donations will continue being accepted at www.walklikemadd.org/fortlauderdale through May 28.
The 10th Annual Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale 5K will be held on Sunday, April 26, 2020. 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 $2 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.