Thanks to MADD for making a difference

Thanks to MADD for making a difference by Mark Loder As the holiday season comes and passes, we brace once again for the time of year when, statistically, more people are killed and injured on our roadways due to the selfish and ignorant act of drunk driving. I hope that all that read this will not have to go through the pains and sorrows of the aftermath of this situation, or have to deal with the knot in your stomach when a police officer knocks on your door at 1:30 in the morning, having to do a part of his job that he wishes he never has to do, informing you that your child has been killed in an accident.

Reality. Not a pretty picture, however, I would like to take the time to acknowledge and thank a number of people in your community, which I was once a member of, who have taken the initiative and desire to make a difference in that reality. As a former police officer in your community, I helped with the initial ground work for the local MADD chapter. This effort was relentlessly backed by Chief Mabry and many members of the Vermillion Police Department, as well as a few members of the community, who have a desire to change the attitude toward the issue of irresponsible alcohol use and it�s damage. Thank you to President Dave Hussey and the other chapter officers who have taken time out of your lives to try and make a difference.

I would also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge SRO Deputy Schnack for his dedication to your children and his desire to change the attitudes among them. Through the creation of SADD, Deputy Schnack and Advisor Karol Broderson have reached many of your children who have joined and, according to their website, have been active towards addressing destructive decisions. To those of you involved in this undertaking, thank you for your hard work and dedication, your efforts are noticed!!

For those that feel there is not a problem in the community and nation, I hope that your minds can be changed, and that a stronger effort can be put forth to help curve the problems surrounding alcohol use and destructive decisions. I would encourage all to visit the MADD and SADD Web sites, which can be linked to from the VPD Web site, www.vermillionpd.org.

I would like to note a couple statistics that were placed on the SADD Web site:

? 65 percent of VHS seniors report that drinking alcohol while being a teenager is not against their values.

? 59 percent of VHS seniors reported drinking alcohol within the last 30 days.

Although these statistics do not show any damage, the fact is, without the proper education and decision making along with this very high number of underage alcohol use, your community will continue to see the damage that alcohol use causes. I hope that this holiday season, you can grasp the severity of this issue and talk, educate and set an example for your children. And, once again, to all of those who have stepped up to make and attempt at making a difference, thank you very much.

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