More than $46,000 was raised to fight drunken driving in Kern County, making this inaugural 5K run and walk a huge success.
The event aimed to raise awareness of drinking and driving crashes in Kern County, to raise money to support local victims and their families, and to fight to end drinking and driving in Bakersfield.
The day featured informational booths from sponsors and other groups aiming to inform about the dangers of drinking and driving, MADD representatives who spoke about the importance of coming together to fight against drunk driving, California Highway Patrol’s Robert Rodriguez who sang the national anthem, a prayer by the Health family (victims of a drunken driving crash), announcement by Peter Wonderly, and a speech by Kern County District Attorney Lisa Green. The walk featured families of victims marching with signs and photos of their loved ones, and hundreds also participated in the competitive 5K race.
Kern County community business and organizations stepped up as sponsors for the event. They included Dignity Health, Chain | Cohn | Stiles, Bakersfield Police Officers Association, Kern County Prosecutors Association, Ira Cohen of UBS Financial, Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center, Kern County Bar Association and Aum Physical Therapy. To see a sponsor list, which were featured on the event T-shirts, go here.
Others contributed to the event in various ways. They included:
- Sam’s Club, which donated water bottles.
- The Gehlawat family, which made several monetary donations.
- Media friends — KGET, KERO, KBAK, KBFX, El Popular and The Bakersfield Californian — who all helped raise awareness.
- Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, which came out to support victims.
- Sully’s Chevron, which donated ice for the event.
- Sole 2 Soul, which hosted the pre-registration packet pickup on Friday, Sept. 19.
Local media helped spread awareness Saturday by interviewing victims, families and participants. Here is some of the media coverage from the event:
- First-ever MADD fundraising walk/run a huge success (KGET Channel 17, NBC)
- Photo Gallery: Hundreds ‘Walk like MADD’ against drunken driving (The Bakersfield Californian)
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving hold first ever “Walk Like MADD” 5k in Kern County (KERO Channel 23, ABC)
- Live Spot: Local MADD chapter holds first ever walk to raise awareness of drunk driving in the community (KERO Channel 23, ABC)
- To see previews of the MADD event and previous media coverage, go here.
The “Walk/Run Like MADD” planning committee — which included Chain | Cohn | Stiles attorney Matt Clark and marketing director Jorge Barrientos — would like to thank sponsors, those who donated, volunteers and participants in the event for their dedication to fighting against drunken driving.