The Oakland Raiders will team up with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for the second straight year to promote the "Good Sport - Designated Driver Program." This will be the third year of the Good Sport Program, in which fans pledge to be a designated driver and receive a complimentary non-alcoholic beverage coupon for that day's game. In 2010, the program doubled the number of designated driver pledges from 2009. The Raiders, MADD, and the California Highway Patrol hope to continue to increase the pledges during 2011 and continue efforts to reduce drunk driving.
MADD is excited to work with the Raiders for the second year in a row. "It has been one of our most exciting relationships we've had in the Bay Area," said Jody Iorns, Development Director of MADD in the Bay Area. "We were able to reach over 2,000 people making a pledge to be a designated driver at the [Raiders home games]. And the stories that I heard from the various attendees, Raiders fans, as well as our staff and volunteers, were extremely motivating, energizing, and educational. It was really a fabulous opportunity and we're looking forward to doing it again this year and for many years to come."
MADD was founded 30 years ago by Candy Lightner in Sacramento, Calif., after her daughter was killed by a hit and run driver. "She made a pledge in her daughter's bedroom that she would fight to reduce these horrible tragedies," said Iorns. "Our mission then and now is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of the violent crime and prevent underage drinking. We find, as research has shown, that our organization, MADD, and other organizations that have worked against drunk driving, have really made an impact. We've reduced the number of drunk driving crashes annually, nationwide, by 40% in the 30 years. We still have a lot of work to do. Thirty people every day are killed by drunk drivers and every four adults will be involved in an alcohol related crash. 11,000 people were killed by drunk drivers in 2009 so clearly there's still a lot of work that needs to be done."
On Saturday, May 14, 2011, MADD will hold its second annual Walk Like MADD event at Cesar Chavez Park in Berkeley to help raise money and awareness for their organization's important work. "We anticipate about 300 people coming together to raise money to continue the fight against drunk driving," said Iorns. "The event is going to be a 5K walk around the park. It's an absolutely gorgeous setting with the view of the Golden Gate Bridge. We'll have some fun family activities, face paintings, a health and safety fair where various other organizations around the Bay Area will come. We will also have opportunities for people to pay tribute to their loved ones who have died due to alcohol related crashes in a tribute area where they can put up pictures, or notes, or memorabilia to honor them. Many of our teams are walking in honor and support of people they have lost due to this violent crime."
Since coming to the Bay Area two years ago, MADD has received excellent community support. "We have had fabulous sponsors, the volunteer support has been outstanding and generally very welcoming, very positive reception from the community as a whole," said Iorns.
Teaming with the Raiders has helped the organization solidify itself and make the most impact in the East Bay community. "Having the Raiders organization support our mission helps get out to the community that this is a community effort," explained Iorns. "MADD was started as a grassroots organization so to have the Raiders involved with us really illustrates the exact mission and personality our organization has because we're working with a very respected, strong, and well-known organization here in the community. It gives us a lot of strength getting our mission out because of the support we've received from the Raiders."
To register for the second annual Walk Like MADD event, visit www.WalkLikeMADD.org.