-250 people gather in Denver to honor those killed in drunk and drugged driving crashes-
DENVER, Nov. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Colorado held its annual Candlelight Vigil for the state's victims and survivors of drunk and drugged driving crashes. MADD hosted 250 attendees, including victims, survivors, community partners and MADD volunteers, at The Wellshire Inn.
Attendees joined together to light candles, watch a poignant slideshow showing the faces of those injured and killed in drunk and drugged driving crashes, and to support one another. MADD Colorado also introduced the "Kigil"—an area of the Vigil specifically for children.
"While the victims of impaired driving live with a hole in our hearts due to the death of our loved ones, their memories can never be taken from us," said MADD National President Jan Withers. "When my daughter, Alisa, was killed I found that sharing with other victims only strengthened her memory. I am honored to share those memories with Colorado victims at MADD Colorado's Candlelight Vigil today."Although the number of drunk driving crashes nationwide has been cut in half since MADD was founded in 1980, the Vigil is an important annual event that, sadly, continues to grow. In 2011 alone, 161 people in Colorado were killed in drunk driving crashes and countless others were injured. "MADD's Candlelight Vigil is an opportunity to honor and remember those killed and injured in drunk and drugged driving crashes in Colorado," said Fran Lanzer, MADD Colorado State Executive Director. "Remembering these tragedies is not only important to those who are bereaved and injured, but it is also crucial to reminding our community about their role in eliminating these 100 percent preventable deaths and injuries." The timing of the this year's Vigil is significant as it took place just before the start of MADD Colorado's annual Tie One On For Safety ® campaign, the organization's signature public awareness project. Drivers display MADD red ribbons on their vehicles as a reminder to plan ahead for a non-drinking designated driver during the holiday season and year round. The Vigil is a chance to honor and remember those lives forever changed by impaired driving crashes and remind the public of the tragic consequences of drunk and drugged driving. MADD, one of the nation's largest crime victim assistance organizations, provides services to a victim/survivor of a drunk or drugged driving crash every 8.6 minutes at no charge. These services include support from trained advocates and a network of peers, guidance through the judicial process, counseling referrals and more. In 2012, alone MADD served more than 61,000 victims and survivors of drunk and drugged driving crashes nationwide.