Kern County came together Saturday morning at the Park at River Walk to support victims of DUI crashes, call for an end of drunk and drugged driving, and raise more than $60,000 in the process.
The sixth annual Bakersfield Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash – presented by Chain | Cohn | Stiles – is aimed to raise awareness of the DUI problem in locally, raise funds for MADD Kern County’s educational programs and victim services, and support local victims and survivors of drunk and drugged driving crashes. Bringing out more than 800 walkers and runners for this cause, the event featured a kid’s fun run, 5K and 10K in what has become one of the largest fundraising walking and running events in Kern County, according to Bakersfield Track Club.
The morning featured an opening ceremony with statements from representatives from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, victims of DUI crashes, outgoing Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, and Assemblyman Vince Fong, among others. It was followed by a kid’s fun run presented by Adventist Health and Bakersfield Active 20-30 Club, timed 5K and 10K runs, with medals awarded in age categories, and a march by victims, their families and supporters from our community.
“On this day, our community together to fight a serious in Kern County, and remember the victims of these crimes,” said Carla Pearson, victim services specialist for MADD Kern County. “If we all keep our passion for change for another 364 days, we will see a future in Kern County with no more victims. Let’s make sure we all drive safe and sober, always.”
Making the event possible were sponsors Chain | Cohn | Stiles (presenting sponsor), Chevron, Kern High School District, STEPS, Sally Herald Accountancy Inc., UBS Financial, Clinica Sierra Vista, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, Kern County Prosecutors Association, Strata Credit Union, Wells Fargo, Vince Fong for Assembly and more. A kid’s fun run was presented by Adventist Health and Bakersfield Active 20-30 Club.
Medals and trophies were awarded to the fastest runners in their respective age categories, with results being posted on the Bakersfield Track Club website. Awards were also given to the following top fundraisers:
- Top Friends and Family Team: Madysyn & Kalebs Keepers ($3,113)
- Top Individual Fundraiser: Laura Melton ($1,595)
- Law Enforcement Challenge: Kern County District Attorney’s Office
- Corporate Challenge: Kern Schools Federal Credit Union
Kern County is averaging nearly 12 DUI arrests per day. Each year in Kern County, dozens of innocent lives are lost – plus hundreds more injured and thousands of friends and families affected – from this 100 percent preventable crime. Kern County ranks worst in the state for DUI crashes resulting in injuries, and second most in the United States. This year alone (as of Sept. 10), CHP-Bakersfield officers have reported 288 DUI traffic collisions, with 11 resulting in fatalities.
Since 2014, the annual Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash has raised more than $350,000, including this year. It’s not too late to donate – donations are being accepted through October at www.walklikemadd.org/bakersfield.
EVENT MEDIA COVERAGE
- Photo Gallery: Scenes from Bakersfield’s sixth annual Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash (The Bakersfield Californian – Sept. 28. 2019)
- 2019 Bakersfield Walk Like MADD 2019 – Team Gabby (23ABC News – Sept. 28, 2019)
- 2019 Bakersfield Walk Like MADD 2019 – A Life Interrupted (23ABC News – Sept. 28, 2019)
- Jessica Harrington Vlog: 2019 Bakersfield Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash
PREVIEW MEDIA COVERAGE
- Local survivor of DUI crash speaks out ahead of “Walk like MADD” event (23ABC News – Sept. 26, 2019)
- Caminata de ayuda a víctimas de conductores ebrio (Telemundo Valle Central)
- Man convicted of killing an unborn baby while driving drunk sentenced to nine years behind bars (KGET-17, NBC – Sept. 26, 2019)
- KGET Sunrise: 2019 Bakersfield Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash (KGET-17, NBC – Sept. 30, 2019)