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 $65,000 in the process.
The fifth annual Bakersfield Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash – presented by the Bakersfield-based accident and injury law firm 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 nearly 900 walkers and runners for this cause, plus hundreds more in attendance, 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 Lisa Green, and Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh, among others. It was followed by a kid’s fun run presented by the 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.
“This is one day our community can come together to remember those affected by DUI crimes, and advocate for a day with no more victims,” said Carla Pearson, victim services specialist for MADD Kern County. “Our aim is to no longer have a day dedicated for this purpose. In the meantime, we hope everyone will dedicate the other 364 days of the year toward making sure they and their loves ones drive safe and sober always.”
Making the event possible were sponsors Chain | Cohn | Stiles (presenting sponsor), Chevron, Special Treatment Education & Prevention Services Inc., Clinica Sierra Vista, Vince Fong for Assembly, Kern County Prosecutors Association, and Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, among many others.
From Chain | Cohn | Stiles, marketing director Jorge Barrientos serves as the event planning committee chairman, and also sits on the Board of Directors for the MADD Kern County Advisory Board. Attorney Matt Clark is also a board member, and for the event served as the awards ceremony emcee.
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: Prayers for Jourdan
- Top Individual Fundraiser: Jourdan Bacot / Farnsworth
- Law Enforcement Challenge: Kern County District Attorney’s Office
- Corporate Challenge: Kern Schools Federal Credit Union
Through August this year, CHP has investigated 260 crashes in Bakersfield where DUI was a primary factor, 9 of which resulted in fatalities. That’s at least one DUI crash per day. Additionally, Kern County is averaging more than 11 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.
Since 2014, the annual Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash has raised more than $300,000, including this year. It’s not too late to donate – donations are being accepted through October at www.walklikemadd.org/bakersfield.
- Walk Like MADD returns to River Walk Saturday (The Bakersfield Californian – Sept. 26, 2018)
- Walk Like MADD on KGET-17 Sunrise (KGET-17, NBC – Sept. 26, 2018)
- Survivor of a car crash speaks out to make a difference (KERO-23, ABC – Sept. 27, 2018)
- Photo Gallery: Bakersfield Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash (The Bakersfield Californian – Sept. 29, 2018)
- 5th Annual Walk Like MADD (KGET-17, NBC – Sept. 30, 2018)
If you or someone you know is injured in an accident at the fault of someone else, please contact the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles by calling (661) 323-4000, or visit the website chainlaw.com to complete a contact form.