The first-ever Bakersfield Walk/Run Like MADD will be held on Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Park at River Walk — and there’s still time to join the fight to end drunk driving in Kern County.
The walk and competitive 5K — sponsored and organized in part by the Bakersfield personal injury law firm Chain | Cohn | Stiles — is 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.
As of today, nearly 500 people on 44 teams have raised more than $37,000 for the Bakersfield MADD walk. Additionally, several Kern County community business and organizations have stepped up as sponsors for the event. They include Dignity Health, Chain | Cohn | Stiles, Bakersfield Police Officers Association, Kern County Prosecutors Association, Ira Cohn of USB Financial, Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center, Kern County Bar Association and Aum Physical Therapy. To see a sponsor list, which will be featured on the event T-shirts, go here.
Among the latest participants in the MADD walk are family members and friends of victims of a drunken driving crash that occurred just recently. Two people were killed in a fiery crash during Labor Day weekend when a suspected drunken driver slammed into the back of their car on Rosedale Highway, according to media reports. A third person was pulled from the burning car by California Highway Patrol officials and a passersby near the scene of the crash. That person suffered serious burn injuries and was taken to a hospital. The suspected drunken driver, 29-year-old Dontrell Collins, was booked on suspicion of felony drunken driving resulting in injury or death and vehicular manslaughter, police reported.
Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, where the victims worked, will participate in the MADD walk and has started a team, which currently has 80 people involved. And FedEx, where the father of a victim works, has also started a team.
You can still join these victims and others in Bakersfield fighting to end drunk driving by registering on the day of the event, Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Park at River.
You can also register during a pre-registration packet pickup from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 19, at Sole 2 Soul Sports in The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave. Packets include race bibs and T-shirt for those who pre-registered.
The first Bakersfield Walk Like MADD has gotten substantial attention from local media, who are also joining in on the fight to end drunk driving by sharing the stories with Kern County. Here are several of the media spots:
- Bakersfield Life Magazine recently featured an article about the walk and shared the stories of families of victims of drunken driving crashes. You can read the article here.
- Kern County Deputy District Attorney David Wolf and Chain | Cohn | Stiles marketing director Jorge Barrientos — both part of the MADD walk planning committee — joined Sheri Ortiz on The Groove, 99.3, KKBB. Listen to the spot here.
- KERO Channel 23 is currently running promos of the event.
- Chain | Cohn | Stiles attorney Matt Clark and Kern County Deputy District Attorney Brandon Stallings appeared on the live stream show First Look with Scott Cox to discuss the problem of drinking and driving in Bakersfield, and encourage local residents to join in on the MADD walk. Watch the video here.
- Eyewitness News (KBAK and KBFX, Channels 29 and 58) recently ran a story on the event following a DUI-related fatal Labor Day crash. The spot featured Mothers Against Drunk Driving Kern County victim advocate Carla Pearson. You can watch that here.
- Marketing director Jorge Barrientos — who is part of the planning committee for the Walk/Run Like MADD — spoke with KGET Channel 17 Friday morning, Sept. 12.
- KUZZ is currently airing a promotion of the event. You can listen to an interview with MADD Kern County victim advocate Carla Pearson here.
- Chain | Cohn Stiles Marketing Director Jorge Barrientos writes a “Community Voices” article in The Bakersfield Californian regarding the issue of drunk driving, and the Walk/Run Like MADD.
- KGET Channel 17 highlights the number of DUI-related deaths in Kern County and the Walk/Run Like MADD: Deaths of two women in Rosedale make 14 DUI fatalities this year