The 5K walk held on Saturday, Sept. 17 was organized by the Central Valley Division of MADD, an organization that was founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver. The fundraising event is an effort to help raise both awareness and funds, according to the MADD website and Jeri Kuddes, a volunteer organizer at the event.
The donations raised through the fundraiser help specific causes such as victim services, according to Kuddes.
The event held in Clovis this year was a fundraiser mixed with an educational portion that helped bring awareness to the community about the seriousness of drunk driving and the damage it can cause.
Prior to the 5K walk, attendees had the opportunity to hear from individuals who had their lives changed from a drunk driving accident.
At the event following the symbolic release of doves, attendees had the opportunity to see a vehicle that was involved in a drunk driving accident. Attendees of all ages, from children to adults, had the opportunity to see the severe impact drunk driving can cause.
“[When] the kids come out and they see the crashed car that Fresno PD brings out with the story about the family that died in that particular car, it’s a great educational moment for the kids to see it in front of them,” Kuddes said.
After being held in Fresno at Woodward Park and Fresno State, Kuddes said the organization wanted to try a new locale.
“People like the easiness of accessibility and free parking [of having the event in Clovis] because at Woodward Park you have to pay for parking and an entrance fee when you’re driving,” Kuddes said.
The annual event was able to raise $31,500, surpassing the organization’s goal of $27,500, according to Kuddes.
“[I’m] so humbled to be apart of such a supportive and amazing group of individuals and families,” Kuddes said
For those interested in volunteering or donating, you can reach out to Jeri Kuddes who is a volunteer organizer for the Central Valley Division of Mothers Against Drunk Driving via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.