As central Albertans celebrate the holiday season, officials with the Red Deer chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), encourage you to attend a candlelight vigil on Saturday night to honour and remember those lost to impaired driving.

The 27th annual event will be held at St. Luke’s Church (4929 54 Street) starting at 7:30 p.m. and is part of MADD Canada’s 32nd annual Project Red Ribbon campaign, aimed at preventing impaired driving.

The national campaign runs from Nov. 1 to the first Monday of the New Year, raising awareness about the risks of impaired driving and encouraging motorists to always drive sober.

Marilyn Rinas, president of MADD Red Deer and District, says the candlelight vigil offers comfort for those dealing with the tragic consequences of alcohol or drug-impaired driving.

 “Especially with this time of year and the Christmas season coming into effect with parties and such, that people think twice about drinking and driving,” says Rinas. “Taking precautions, either take an Uber or calling a friend or designated driver for when they go out to Christmas parties.”

Promoting sober driving is a message Rinas’feels strongly about, and will convey those convictions as the guest speaker at this year’s candlelight vigil.

“My husband was killed by a drunk driver six years ago, on his way to work at 6:30 in the morning,” says Rinas. “It’s not only changed my life, it’s changed my family’s life and some of us are still seeking counseling. We’ve had to go through court systems for four years, had to deal with lawyers, our lives were ripped apart by one selfish decision that this young fella made.”

Rinas was married to her husband for 28 years, with two grown boys and two grandchildren now.

During the Red Ribbon campaign, MADD Canada Chapters and Community Leaders distribute millions of red ribbons for Canadians to tie on their vehicles, key chains, purses, briefcases and backpacks.

The red ribbon is described as a small but powerful symbol of the wearers’ commitment to sober driving, and reminds us all that deaths and injuries resulting from impairment-related crashes are needless and preventable.

For central Albertans impacted by impaired driving, Rinas says MADD chapters across Canada each have ties to Victims Services which can offer the programs and supports that they provide.

“We would reach out to them and make contact with them and just be there for them and invite them to events like this,” she explains. “We do have also a national which is for the whole country, in Toronto every year. It’s a very empowering and emotional event.”

You can get your red ribbon by donating online at, visiting one of the organization’s many sponsor outlets, or contacting your nearest MADD Canada Chapter or Community Leader.

Donations help MADD spread the Project Red Ribbon message across Canada, which furthers the organization’s mission to stop impaired driving and support victims of impaired driving.

Donations can be made online, by phone or by mail.

You can also share a picture of your red ribbon on Facebook or Twitter and tag it with #maddredribbon.

To learn more about Project Red Ribbon, visit MADD Canada.

If you see a driver you suspect is impaired, call 911.

Source: Red Deer News Now



Last updated on: 2020-02-20 | Link to this post