A Memorable Walk


Kurt Kenzler

My mom, Julie Kenzler (on the left), and my dear Aunt Tammy (on the right), pose as sisters during a time of memories being made. My beautiful and caring aunt was taken from us last November due to a terrible drunk driver. We were devastated. My mother found hope through this nightmare; it was MADD.

Maggie Kenzler, Columnist

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was founded more than 30 years ago, and since then, drunk driving deaths have been decreased by more than half. But, there is still more work that needs to be done. Last year, nearly 10,000 people were taken in drunk driving crashes and accidents. MADD was created to help prevent horrible tragedies like this from happening.

On Mar. 22, 2014, at 7 am, my family and I will be participating in the “Walk like MADD” event. This past year, my family and I dealt with a tragic loss of our aunt, my mom’s sister, due to a terrible drunk driving accident. We were devastated. In this huge and inescapable pit of grief we felt we could never escape, my mother found a supportive and relatable event we could all take part in. We will have a chance to connect with many people who have dealt with a tragedy similar to ours.

For this event, there are specific teams with their own names. It will not just be my family and I participating in the walk, but several of our close friends will also be joining us. They have been donating to my mom’s team, which has been a great help. It is a relief to know that we are not alone at all when something so devastating happens. “Sisters Forever – For Tammy” is our team name, and we have already raised $825 of our $1,000 goal. My aunt’s name is Tammy, and we are dedicating this entire event and walk to her.

“Walk like MADD” is a family-friendly 5K walk. To register, there is a $25 fee for adults and a $20 fee for age 20 and under. We will be given free MADD t-shirts, which will be great promoters for this cause. Participants also receive free admission to the Phoenix Zoo for the day! Not only will we be walking around the zoo, but there will be entertainment, activities, food, and more. After the walk, we will get the chance to spend several hours visiting the animals. I love how MADD takes place at the zoo, because the animals can be a reminder of joy and hope to the grieving individuals. They tell a story. That story is saying that even through the darkest clouds, you will always see an outcome with at least one sparkle of light. The animals make me feel so moved and emotional because of their true beauty. They create a special remembrance for me of my loving aunt who I miss so much.

Recognizing the difficulty of this event, Julie Kenzler, my mother, said, “I can hardly believe I am participating in this event, and that our family is part of the statistics of such tragedy.” At the event, there is a special place to hang up pictures, memorabilia, and tributes for the loved ones who have been taken due to drunk driving.

To find out more information about this memorable walk, please visit: http://support.madd.org/site/TR?fr_id=3330&pg=entry. And remember, this is for all the loved ones who are missed so dearly; the grieving and aching people can find hope through this walk.