The Pennsylvania Affiliate of Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) will host its signature Walk Like MADD® non-competitive 5K fundraising walk in Philadelphia on September 17, 2017. Registration in the Balloon Plaza at the Philadelphia Zoo will be open by 8:00am with our opening ceremony and walk at 9:00 AM. The event and will raise funds and rally support for MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®.

Walk like MADD has three main components:

  • Remember: We walk for those who no longer can and alongside those who are learning to walk
    again.
  • Inspire: We walk empowered even when we feel powerless, as survivors when we have been
    victimized, and with purpose when we have lost our way.
  • Commit: We walk with supporters who share our vision of no more drunk driving victims.

“We walk to finish the job that was started by a grieving mother in 1980. Now in our 37th year, MADD has saved more than 300,000 lives and has served more than 300,000 victims,” said Malcolm Friend, State Program Manager. “Walk Like MADD will raise mission-critical funds to help save lives in our community.”

We walk for those who no longer can and for those who are learning to walk again.

There are many reasons that we rally together at this event. As we honor all crime victims of impaired driving, we recognize that is three years since fifteen-year-old Zachary Gonzalez had his life taken away by such an offense. Zachary’s aunt and legal guardian, Kelli Donlen reflects on the impact of the burgeoning young man she loved.

“The tears and heartache still have not gone away and they never will.  I struggle with the fact that the man who killed Zachary never should have been driving.  I struggle with never having the chance to say goodbye.  I do my best to remember all the good times with Zachary but finds myself always thinking of the “firsts” that Zachary will never experience such as prom, graduation, college, driving, marriage and having children.  I will never stop advocating for stiffer laws and honoring Zachary’s life by telling others about him.” The walkers will stand in solidarity with Kelli to remember the heroic life of Zach and to prevent further tragedies from happening to others.

This year’s walk also coincides with a recent major update in Pennsylvania DUI legislation advocated by MADD with the collective advocacy efforts of those like Kelli. Act 33 (2016) provides finally in Pennsylvania an interlock law for first time DUI offenders.
The Ignition Interlock Device (IID) has prevented 78,000 drunk driving attempts in Pennsylvania already. “Imagine how many lives have been saved, how many injuries have been prevented …through interlocks already,” said Malcolm Friend today..

PennDOT’s recent release of alcohol related crash facts makes the scheduling of this event as poignant as ever. Friend added “A drunk driving crash is no accident and there were 10,256 alcohol related crashes that resulted in 297 deaths in 2016. These are real numbers representing real lives. Consider those we have lost and those whose lives are forever changed through drunk driving.”

The Philadelphia Zoo Walk Like MADD encourages every day citizens who have been impacted by the actions of an impaired driver, know of someone impacted by an impaired driver, and those who have had to repair damages caused by an impaired driver – together we demand No More Victims and invite you to rally with us on Sunday morning, September 17th at the Philadelphia Zoo.

Together we can demand No More Victims.

Event sponsors add their voices to the central focus of this event. “There is never an excuse to get behind the wheel after drinking,” emphasizes Susan Hendrick, Uber safety spokesperson. “Uber is proud to team up with MADD to help reduce drunk driving in Pennsylvania. By providing a reliable ride at the push of a button — no matter the time or place — Uber is helping people make better, safer choices.”

Diamond Car Wash have rallied as well. “Creating awareness is a responsibility we take serious at Diamond Express Car Wash,” says local owner Chris Jain. “Never underestimate the power of a single act of support.”

For additional information please visit www.walklikemadd.org/philadelphia to register, donate or get more information.