Archive for April, 2010

The MADD Greater Omaha Community Action Site is hosting a table at the Omaha Royals Baseball Game on Tuesday, May 4th at Rosenblatt Stadium http://omaha.royals.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t541 at 6:00 PM.  It is a great opportunity to get the word out about MADD, our active community group and to  remind the public that there are no winners when you make the choice to drive drunk.

I was thinking that baseball is a great game you get three strikes before you are out.  That allows for a fair amount of swings to keep you in the game and your team on the board.  Then the phone rang and I was talking to a victim impacted by drunk driving and I came back to reality – here at MADD you only need one strike to change a life forever.  Drunk driving isn’t a game with replays, umpires calling a near miss, or shortstop to tag you before you hit that on coming car.

And being hit by a drunk driver, well let me just emphasise that the impact of that crime will change the way you play any game for the rest of your life.

We are all excited to be out at the ballpark, to meet and greet community members, baseball fans and let the public know that we are not against drinking but drunk driving is not only illegal it changes lives forever.  So if you plan on drinking be sure to have a designated driver, if you are under 21  it is illegal and play this game like your life depends on it – it just may!

The Major Baseball League knows all too well the pain of losing a teammate, Nick Adenhart, to a drunk driver.http://losangeles.angels.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=7018019 Drunk driving does not discriminate.

Last year in Nebraska , 78 individuals died in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes  = One person killed every four days.  Be a team player and keep the roads safe for everyone to travel. See you at the ballpark!

MADD Volunteers a Gift ALL Year Long!

 Passion for the Mission is what I see MADD Volunteers do for our organization on a daily basis.  Our volunteers do: Court Monitoring, community activities, fund raise, support others impacted by this violent crime, share their stories with the community, schools and at MADD Victim Impact Panels.

MADD Nebraska owes so much to our volunteers for with out them we could not meet our mission, drive the numbers down, reach across the state to provide services and support.  Here at MADD we have many volunteers that have continued to support us and offer their services by volunteering at our VIP’s  and at the local community for more than 11 years.  Not many organizations can retain volunteers for that length of time. Here in Nebraska we are most grateful for all the volunteer hours that each and every single individual gives to us.  Together, hand-in-hand, we have worked with law enforcement, probation, school administrators, community coalitions, highway safety advocates, prevention specialists, civic groups, PTA, and a sundry of other citizens seeking a way to make a difference daily with MADD.

This year Iam even more pleased because here at MADD Nebraska we have a Volunteer Resource Coordinator, Sara Magnus, to provide support to all of our volunteers across the state.  Sara’s postion works directly with one of MADD’s strategic prongs: Capacity Building.  http://www.maddnebraska.org/get_involved/Volunteers

Through volunterism we can build a strong and healthy organization that can impact community attitudes regarding drinking and driving, underage drinking, and victim’s rights.

I am proud to say that over the last ten years with MADD I have made many friends and I look forward to making many more in the year ahead!  Thank you to all who volunteer – where ever you volunteer. http://www.serve.nebraska.gov/

http://www.communityservicesfund.org/member-agencies

Here at MADD we want to acknowledge that April 18 is the beginning of Crime Victims’ Rights Week.  The first National Crime Victims’ Rights Week was launched by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, a year after the founding of Mothers Against Drunk Driving in 1980.

Thanks to the vision and action of many, and in particular President Reagan, every state has passed a victims’ rights law and  there are a multitude of statutes in every state that empower crime victims with hard-won legal protections.

In Nebraska, LB 270 was passed (41– 4) in 2004 to secure the enacting legislation to ensure ALL victims had the right to present their victim impact statement at sentencing and that victims of crime had the right to be in court.  In our state county attorneys have the duty to contact those impacted by crime and assure them of their rights.

MADD Nebraska has a trained victim advocate on staff and two trained volunteer victim advocates to assist those impacted by

Need help to pick up the pieces - 800-MADD-HELP

drunk driving.  If you are a victim of an alcohol-related crash please know that we are here to support you as you navigate through court, financial struggles, property damage, injuries and grief.  Our motto is “we help survivors survive” and we do it with dignity, respect and the fairness you deserve.

Many of us never thought we would find ourselves needing anyone to help but all too often something bad does happen and then you have pieces to pick up. We just want you to know you don’t have to do it alone.

 

On behalf of MADD and our members across the state,  MADD strongly supports a “uniform bar closing” across the state to deter barhopping.  Also, it is important to be mindful of law enforcement shift changes and the potential impact to the city/county or state budget or worse to cause a void in DUI arrests resulting in serious injuries or death.

 In Nebraska in  2009, the state saw an increase in alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities.  A concern MADD can not overlook.

 Uniform Bar Closing

MADD advocates setting uniform statewide cut off-limits on the sale of alcoholic beverages in order to end the practice of “barhopping” to find establishments with later closing hours for “one last drink” with the likelihood of impaired driving as a result.

 Please take a moment to let Governor Heineman and your state senator know that you do not support each city having the ability to close at different times.

 MADD strongly supports uniform bar closing.  It doesn’t matter if it is 1 am or 2 am but the closing across the state needs to be uniform to prevent bar hopping from town to town.

 Please let State Senator Colby Coash know you do not support the amendment for individual towns to determine their hours of operation.

Your voice will make the difference.  Thanks you so much for your support and passion. Act today as the vote will come Friday or Monday.

I am reminded once again how fleeting time is and how important it is to stay connected.  This last weekend two of us here in the MADD State Office had an extended family member fall down and end up in the hospital.  For me, it took the hospital some time to track us down to let us know a family member took a fall, was picked up by an ambulance and taken to the hospital. 

Almost all of us carry around cell phones and that cell phone can be a solid resource for professionals who need to contact us and let us know something has gone wrong, there has been an injury or worse yet a fatality.

After reading this, I implore each of you to open up your cell phone and add ICE to your contacts.  If something should happen to you where do you want that first phone call to go?  Law Enforcement and EMT professionals have assured me that ICE is a valuable tool. It allows emergency professionals to identify who they need to contact when someone you care about has taken a fall, become injured or in a motor vehicle crash.http://www.snopes.com/crime/prevent/icephone.asp  It only takes a few minutes to add ICE to your contacts and it will mean a lot to your family and  to you.

At times it is important to be proactive.  If it can happen to me it can happen to you.  I don’t want 10 hours to pass by before the hospital notifies me that my family is there – do you?  Please take time to pass this on to those you love and make sure we get the message out ICE can make the difference and that is a cold hard fact.

Don’t let another day slip by!