For the seventh year, Kern County came together on Saturday, Oct. 10, in the fight against impaired driving to proclaim, “No More Victims!”
Bakersfield’s virtual Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash — presented by Chain | Cohn | Stiles — is Kern County’s chance to do something about drunk and drugged driving in our community. Since 2009, our community has seen at least 4,000 DUI arrests made each year, according to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office – nearly 12 DUI arrests per day. Kern County ranks worst in the state for DUI crashes resulting in injuries, and second most in the United States.
Like many nonprofits, MADD Kern County has severely been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, losing a large percentage of funding intended to fight against impaired driving in our community. In fact, MADD California has lost over 80% of annual revenue, forcing drastic cuts that continue to disrupt grassroots programs and services, officials said. Meanwhile, impaired driving, unfortunately, continues to be one of the leading causes of fatalities and injuries on our roadways.
In a unifying event, MADD California hosted a virtual Walk Like MADD ceremony on Oct. 10 using the #OneMADDCalifornia hashtag. The statewide virtual ceremony included CHP-Bakersfield officers, featuring Robert Rodriguez singing the national anthem, and local presenting sponsor Chain | Cohn | Stiles.
In Kern County, the event raised more than $42,000 to help fund local educational programs and prevention services, raise awareness of the DUI problem in our local communities, and provide support to local victims and survivors of drunken driving crashes. Statewide, the event raised more than $1.6 million!
“Our community annually comes together to fight this serious issue in Kern County, to remember the victims of these crimes, and demand change,” said Carla Pearson, victim services specialist for MADD Kern County. “MADD Kern County thanks our local community for helping for spread the message, and fundraise for vital local program. We all want a future of No More Victims.”
In what has become one of the largest fundraising walks and runs in town, the event brings together people from our community – surviving victims of crashes, families and friends of injured and deceased victims, law enforcement, prosecutors, first responders, advocates, and community leaders and members – to march, rally and run for the cause.
Presented by the local law firm Chain | Cohn | Stiles, the local event was also supported by Chevron, Valley Strong Credit Union, Clinica Sierra Vista, Kern County Prosecutors Association, Good Samaritan Hospital, Sally Herald Accountancy Inc., and others.
Awards were given to race finishers and top fundraisers. They are as follows:
- Fastest Male: Garret Sugimoto, Kern Regional Crime Lab
- Fastest Female: Jessica Harrington, 23ABC News
- Top Team: Madysyn & Kaleb’s Keepers
- Top Fundraiser: Amber Morales
- Top Law Enforcement Team: Kern County District Attorney’s Office
- MADD Kern County raises more than $42,000 in virtual event (Oct. 12, 2020)
- Walk like MADD virtual event raises over $42,000 for local programs (23ABC News – Oct. 12, 2020)
PRE-EVENT MEDIA COVERAGE
- The drunk driver who killed her stepson is free after serving 16 years, but Pearson’s quest with MADD continues (KGET-17, NBC – Sept. 4, 2020)
- Registration for Walk like MADD open, virtual event starts on October 3 (KGET-17, NBC – Sept. 28, 2020)
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving events go virtual, local mother shares impact (23ABC News – Oct. 5, 2020)
- ‘Walk Like MADD’ virtual 5K takes aim at drunk driving (The Bakersfield Californian – Sept. 28, 2020)