2000 Participants Took Steps Against Drunk Driving for
Annual Walk Like MADD and MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale on April 26, 2015 More than $185,000 Raised; Donations Still Being Accepted
On the morning of Sunday, April 26, 2015, over 2000 South Floridians of all ages and fitness levels gathered at Huizenga Plaza under the bright lights of the Bank of America building for the fifth annual Walk like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale 5K. The Bank of America building showed its support for the cause by using red lights.
Although the runners with the fastest times were awarded, the whole South Florida community won a victory in the campaign against drunk driving by spreading awareness and raising more than $185,000, which will be used to fund local awareness and education programs. Donations can be made through June 1, 2015 at www.walklikemadd.org/fortlauderdale.
Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash is MADD’s annual signature walk, which takes place in over 60 cities in the U.S., including Fort Lauderdale. Since it was established in 2011, Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale 5K has raised more than $600,000 to date for MADD Broward & Palm Beach.
Former WTVJ-NBC 6 anchor and longtime MADD supporter Tony Segreto emceed the event, which featured VIP supporters and speakers including the event’s Honorary Chairman Colonel Alvin Pollock, City of Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, and Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca. Local singing sensation Julia Dale took to the stage to perform the National Anthem and the popular tribute band 2 of Us got the crowd moving with a playlist of Beatles’ classics. Many participants wore team shirts depicting images of victims of drunk driving and carried signs asking for justice and awareness.
Walk Like MADD and MADD Dash 5K Fort Lauderdale Chairperson Heather Geronemus shared with participants her touching story about her personal connection with MADD. Her father, Dr. Robert Perry Geronemus, was struck and killed by a drunk driver in 2009.
“I’m incredibly proud that MADD Broward has become one of the largest and fastest growing MADD 5Ks in the country. What was once a community of primarily victims has grown to become a community of thousands of supporters, sponsors, fundraisers and volunteers who are there to take care of people they don’t even know,” says Geronemus. “This is a 100 percent preventable crime and we will continue to fight to create a community where people can live safely.”
Walk Like MADD and MADD Dash 5K sponsors included title sponsor Ultimate Software, presenting sponsor Westway Towing, La Croix, ADT Always Cares, Yellow Cab, SunTrust, Festival Flea Market, Walmart and Broward Sheriff’s Office.
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 and MADD Dash have raised more than $250,000 in three years (2011–2013). MADD’s Broward and Palm Beach chapters facilitate dozens 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.