Archive for July, 2009

This week KOLN/KGIN is running a week long segment on “DUI:The Hangover” http://www.kolnkgin.com/home/headlines/51829797.html.  On behalf of MADD, I want to thank those who have spoke out, during this DUI segment,  about the violent crime that DUI presents to our community.  Thanks to Chief Tom Casady http://lpd304.blogspot.com/, Lincoln Police Department, for speaking candidly about the amount of resources needed (tax payers dollars) to stop drunk driving, the public safety threat that drunk drivers present to innocent victims and the unimagianble loss when a community member is seriously injured or killed.

Chief Tom Casady

Chief Tom Casady

I want to encourage you to watch all of the segments to better understand ALL that has been accomplished and we certainly have more to do.  Nevertheless, let’s not lose sight of the good news and that is alcohol-related deaths in Nebraska in 2008 had a 30% decline, from 92 to 67.  That is something to acknowledge.  Much of the decline can be attributed to enforcement, enforcement, enforcement.  Thanks goes out to law enforcement for being viglient and not tolerating drunk driving in our communities.  More thanks goes to prosecutors for holding the offender accountable and then continued thanks goes to probation officers as they work to ensure we do not have an individual reoffend.

MADD knows all too well the cost of drunk driving all you need to do is visit our tribute pagehttp://www.maddnebraska.org/tributes to understand the pain and loss of family members, friends and communities when an alcohol-related crash hits home.

We help survivors survive

We help survivors survive

If you or someone you know is a victim of drunk driving and would like to have support please call MADD Nebraska, 800-444-6233, we are here to support you.

Simera Reynolds, M.Ed.

State Executive Director

I am going to depart a bit from our mission to share with you the importance of taking time out for yourself and those whom you love.  Often at work, not just at MADD either, many of us get sooo darn busy we forget to hear the sounds of life that are sprinkled all around us. 

Trust me, I have learned from others that spending time on yourself, even if it seems indulgent, is important.  Equally important is spending time with family, friends and neighbors.  Our sense of community is what keeps us grounded as work takes a toll, kids keep us on our toes and another telemarketer calls!

I am lucky enough to spend a few days with my great nieces and we are going to Oceans of Fun. I have never been there – can you believe it? There is nothing so uplifting as the chuckle of a youngster – just being around them rejuvenates me and reminds me of why the work I do IS so dang important.  The next generation.

Happy Birthday Girls!

Happy Birthday Girls!

So I am off to Celebrate Birthdays in a BIG way with the next generation.  Next week my mom will celebrate her 78th birthday and it is extra special as she survived a drunk driving crash two years ago and now my parents are here in Lincoln with me.  A special comfort to know I can see them daily!  Life is precious take a day off for yourself…………..

The grand essentials for happiness are: somethng to do, somehing to love and something to hope for.   ALLAN K. CHALMERS

Simera Reynolds, M.Ed.

A Lincoln radio station http://www.klin.com/called me on Friday about the MOM who received 9 days jail for procuring kegs for underage kids.  She stated she didn’t know what was going on but then ultimately told the Judge she did.  I think a person should get 9 days jail just for not telling the Judge the truth!Jail

Parents we can not fall into the friendship trap, the “better to drink at my house than the neighbors” trap or the long time touted “I’m bored“.  Parents have a responsibility to tow the line and hold their youth accountable –  follow the law.  I’ve always wondered how many parents would teach their kids to shoplift?  When I bring that up in conversation I am met with gasps!  No one would do that – then how did we get to a point where we pick and choose which law is OK to break?  Why is it OK to give an inexperienced driver alcohol (also not legal age) and expect them to get home in one piece (this is of course a rhetorical question).

In our house, I told my daughter flat out, “If you are around alcohol at any event you need to leave or I will lose my job and our names will be plastered in the papers”.  OK, I may have exagerated a bit – but I would have lost my job easily and there is little doubt (in this day and age)that my name would have made front page, or at least the local section, of the paper.  I was clear  with my daughter – front and center – no drinking until 21 http://www.why21.org/.  Laws are made for the betterment of the whole.

Let every man remember that to violate the law is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear that charter of his own and his children’s liberty.
Abraham Lincoln

Lastly, I want to thank our county courts for holding parents who provide accountable.  This is clearly unacceptable behavior. 

Simera Reynolds, M. Ed.

Care for the ones you love.

Care for the ones you love.

MADD Nebraska is most fortunate to have our First Lady, Sally Ganem, on the MADD National Board and as a member-at-large on our Nebraska MADD State Operations Council.http://www.governor.nebraska.gov/firstlady/index.html 

National Board Member, Sally Ganem

National Board Member, Sally Ganem

The First Lady is so committed to the prong of our mission dealing with underage drinking.  I imagine having been a Principal for many years is the driving force.  What ever is her driving force, I have wittnessed first hand  her dedicated  committement to prevent underage drinking.  I want to personally thank Sally Ganem for her commitment to travel the state to talk at Town Hall meetings and for meeting with community coalitions in order to better educate the public about how our teens die (monthly) in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes.

Nebraska was fortunate to have had the Surgeon General in our state to talk about the 2007 “Call To Action”. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/underagedrinking/

It should come as no small surprise that Sally Ganem was front and center in that arrangement.  Her valuable expertise was used then and will be continually used for the next three years at the national level.

MADD Nebraska is proud to have our First Lady, Sally Ganem, on the MADD National Board providing leadership and passion about our mission: To stop drunk driving, support victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking.

 

Simera Reynolds, M.Ed

State Executive Director