Posts Tagged ‘volunteers’

The second annual Nebraska Walk Like MADD took place this past Sunday. And for the second year we were lucky to have a beautiful day, a great turnout and a successful event. An event that is only successful because of you, the people that believe in the MADD mission and support the work MADD does in our state.

I think often times people believe events, like walks, should be labeled fundraising events. But, they couldn’t be more wrong. While our walk does help raise funds that help us continue our mission in the state, it is so much bigger than that. I like to think of it as inspiration event. Looking around on Sunday, inspiration is exactly what I saw.

Families, who came out not to mourn but to celebrate the lives of their loved ones taken by drunk driving. Friends, people who have been bonded by like tragedy, talking, laughing, healing. Volunteers, passionate about making a difference working hard to make the day. New faces, a community stepping out to say that they too believe that this crime has taken too many lives and it is time for it to end. All of these people, whether they realized it or not, were walking to inspire others.

This inspiration is why we will continue to walk year after year. Yes, this event is a fundraiser and yes, it helps MADD Nebraska be able to reach more people and support more victims, but no, that is not the biggest reason we walk. We walk because we are united, working together to inspire the world around us to change. We hope you will join us in carrying this inspiration throughout the year until we walk again.


Wow, MADD is brimming with joy for Amy Wieczorek as she was named “The Face of Omaha 2010”   What an honor for Amy and we, here at MADD, are glad we can share the joy with her.

 Take a minute to visit her website: I think you will find it is tasteful and exciting.  What a great way to get our young adults involved in the community and MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. Join MADD on Thursday the 30th of September, Holiday Inn, 3321 South 72nd Street, Omaha, NE  68124, at 7:00 to enjoy the fashions and support our mission.

 The support last year, from our corporate sponsors, enabled us to reach out to more than 500 families impacted by drunk driving. Doing what we do so well “Helping Survivors Survive”.  As you know MADD relies on donor dollars, at any level, to sustain our life saving work and supporting those impacted by impaired driving.

Also, donor support has enabled MADD to blog about many topics including corporate partners and individual partners that support our mission: to stop drunk driving, support victims and prevent underage drinking. I am proud to say we have had more than 17,000 hits. A special thanks to our Blog Sponsor: Herb Friedman of Friedman Law Offices.

 It is only through sound working relationships with business owners, individual donors and committed volunteers that MADD Nebraska can carry on.  To that end a sincere thank you for your support.

This year, every sponsor/donor for the fashion show will be recognized at the MADD Annual “Tie One On For Safety” at the Governor’s Residence on December 8th at 9:30 a.m. 

 Your support means the world to us and we look forward to recognizing all you do to help MADD stay strong and push our mission forward.

Saving Lives – Serving People: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. 

There will be five of us traveling from Nebraska to Washington, D.C. to attend the MADD National Conference and celebrate 30 years of saving lives. 

First Lady Sally Ganem will be going with us to” The Hill” and she will be one of three to present at a workshop: Creating Community Partnerships

The trip will be an opportunity for us to meet those on “The Hill” and thank them for their support to help eliminate impaired driving from our roadways, maintain support to address underage drinking prevention efforts, and support those impacted by this violent crime daily.

Many thanks to our elected officials for taking time to visit with us on our trip.  We have plans to visit with Senator Nelson, Senator Johanns, Congressman Terry, Fortenberry and Smith. I am sure having the First Lady of Nebraska traveling with us doesn’t hurt at all when setting up appointments! 

Thanks to Sally Ganem for her volunteer work as a MADD National Board Member and for her leadership here in Nebraska on our MADD State Operations Council.

I am really looking forward to meeting our new CEO, Kimberly Earle.  She has been nothing short of positive in her messages and direction. 

Also featured at the conference:

  • Over 50 concurrent workshops to choose from
  • National Victim/Survivor Tribute
  • MADD on the Hill
  • Dinner and National President’s Awards

To all of our members, partners and stakeholders across the state, I want to thank you for making MADD your partner. We look forward to spreading the news, when we get back, about what we learned at conference. 

A while back, my mom called to visit but I was painting (Saturday, December 16th, 2006). I tried to pay attention as she began to ask how things were and what was up, but I was all excited about the spare room make over. And like most Moms (Dads too) she could tell I was distracted and I asked if I could call her the next day.  That conversation still sticks with me to this day – we always think there will be that next day. 

The next day came and my Father called not to say “hello” or “how are you” but to relay that my mom had been in a crash involving a drunk driver. My heart sank and oh how I wished I would have talked to my mom yesterday.

Call the Father in your life.

So my point: this Father’s Day week-end reach out to your Father no matter where he is and let him know you are thinking of him, that he is in your heart today.  We never know when that opportunity will be snatched away from us.

 I have had the privilege of working with more than six different families that have had both their Mothers and Fathers snatched from their lives in an instant – time can be cruel when you count the days you lost with a loved one.  Yet somehow we have to manage to press on and make our family proud, do right by ourselves and support those we meet along the way with passion and genuine concern for the situation they are in this particular day.

Make the most of your time by sharing it with the man in your life that touched it so you could become the person you are today.  Uncles, granddads, brothers, nephews, Son-in-laws, and the neighbor down the street – .

We know here at MADD Fathers are our volunteers and they are your support – thank the guys in your life!  I am going to. 

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
                             Fathers Day Quote by: Jim Valvano

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.

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.

On behalf of MADD and our many members, I want to take a moment to highlight the fantastic work that Cooper Racing has done in 2009.  Gary and Donna Cooper have been solid supporters/volunteers and activists for almost 10 years. 

Last year, like each prior Gary & Donna feature the MADD racecar project and their Race Against Drugs.  During 2009 Cooper Racing had a record 3,156 youth visit their booth and sign a drug free pledge.  Their total pledge count now stands at 11,562! Thanks to the communities for inviting the MADD Racecar to their community to highlight the dangers of underage drinking and drinking and driving.  More importantly a BIG thanks goes to the Cooper’s for making a psoitve impact in 2009 and for the past ten years by reaching our youth through a creative and positive approach.

The Copper Racing Team has an alcohol free pit during the racing season.

You can find out more about the MADD racecar project go to:

All I know is that this year I am getting to the racetracks and I am grateful for the hard work and support Gary & Donna show MADD and our communities across the state – here’s to 2010! 

Fred Zwonechek, NOHS and First Lady Sally Ganem

 To read more about the Cooper racing see the article on page 10.

Here at MADD at the end of the year I always have two trains of thought going and I decided why not converge them – hey after all it is the end of the year.

First, MADD Nebraska appreciates the more than 1,600 supporters we have currently. Our supporters are truly our life-blood and work across the state would never get accomplished without our great volunteers, supporters and safety partners.  With that said, I would like to encourage you to become a member and donate $20.00 to MADD Nebraska

The moneys stays here to help those impacted by drunk driving, secure sound policy measures and continue our Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving.  Our MADD State Chair, Dana McCown said at the Tie One On For Safety press conference “it is more than a Campaign it should be our way of life.”

I don’t think anyone can argue with that statement.  Prior to December 31, 2009 get your check out and send us a contribution – we will Make A Dinference Daily with it! Thank you for your support.

OK the second thought is to remind everyone one more time that the holiday season is a time to celebrate safe, sober and buckled up. Make a plan to get home and if your plans don’t pan out then use the TAXI service if it is in your area.

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving - Make the right call.

Those in Omaha and Lincoln who celebrate the holidays by imbibing a little too much can avoid the risk of drinking and driving, thanks to free taxi service offered by a couple of law firms.

Hauptman, O’Brien, Wolf and Lathrop of Omaha is again sponsoring its Safe Ride Home program. Started in 1990, the program is simple: Anyone who attends a holiday party through New Year’s Eve and becomes too intoxicated to drive safely can call Happy Cab in Omaha for a ride home. Hauptman will pick up the cab fare.

 A Lincoln law firm, Friedman Law Offices, provides the same service in Nebraska’s capital city. In Lincoln, partygoers are asked to call 402-474-SAFE between the hours of 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. through Dec. 31 for a free cab ride home.

There you go – my two cents and my appreciation to all whom have helped MADD meet our mission:  to stop drunk driving, support victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking..