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MADD Southeast Florida Raises Nearly $200,000 in Fight Against Drunk Driving

In an effort to support the ongoing fight against drunk driving and drugged driving, over 1,000 runners, walkers and residents of South Florida participated in Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Southeast Florida’s 13th Annual UKG & Salah Foundation Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale 5K presented by the Sheriff’s Foundation of Broward County on April 28, 2024.


The event raised nearly $200,000 to benefit MADD Southeast Florida’s community education, victim support services and youth prevention programs. Event fundraising remains open until May 28 to support these critical programs offered free of charge throughout South Florida. Participants gathered for the in-person race near Huizenga Plaza in Fort Lauderdale. 


From 2019-2021, drunk driving deaths in the United States increased by 31 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s April 2023 report. This is a 100 percent preventable crime, and MADD’s goal is to see a future with no more victims.


At the race, which was emceed by Olivia Rae Whitehead, host of WPLG Local 10’s SoFlo H2O, attendees enjoyed children’s activities, an awards ceremony, live musical performances and vendor/educational booths. Alex Piccirilli, a Nike trainer featured on Netflix’s “Kickstart Fitness with the Basics,” led a warmup before runners and walkers hit the starting line.


The event was attended by dignitaries including Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale 5K Founder and Honorary Chairperson Heather Geronemus; Honorary Chairperson Colonel Nichole Anderson, Undersheriff of Broward Sheriff’s Office; Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine; Sgt. Ryan Clifton from Broward Sheriff’s Office; Sgt. Trevor Thomas from Fort Lauderdale Police Department’s DUI Unit; and Lt. Indiana Miranda from Florida Highway Patrol. 


The annual Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale 5K is a community-driven 5K that raises awareness about drunk driving and underage drinking while uniting community members around MADD’s mission. Since it was established in 2011, Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale 5K has raised nearly $4 million that stays in the South Florida community to save lives and support victims of drunk driving, making it the most successful grassroots fundraiser in the history of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Every dollar donated remains in South Florida to provide victim services and prevention education at no cost. 


“We are extremely grateful for our supporters who sponsored, donated, ran, walked, volunteered and attended this meaningful event. Our community’s commitment to ending drunk driving makes the annual Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale 5K an overwhelming success each year,” said Geronemus, who is also the immediate past chairwoman of the MADD National Board of Directors. “Drunk driving deaths in the U.S. continue to increase, so it’s more important than ever for the community to come together to raise awareness to end this 100 percent preventable crime.” Geronemus’ late father, Dr. Robert Perry Geronemus, was struck and killed by a drunk driver in 2009.


“The men and women of the Broward Sheriff’s Office work every day to make sure our county is a safe place to live, work and play. I feel that it is crucial for us to support organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving as we share a common goal of keeping our roads and community safe. Drunk driving is still the deadliest killer on our nation’s roadways, and I thank our entire community for joining us at Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash Fort Lauderdale 5k on April 28 as we take steps to end drunk and drugged driving,” said Broward Sheriff’s Office Colonel Nichole Anderson, Undersheriff.


“If you have had any substance that would impair your ability to drive, you must not get behind the wheel,” said Wasserman Schultz. “There are some wonderful programs that MADD has led and created, like the HALT Act, and I am proud to have been able to help pass it into law. One critical effort that I’m most eager to push ahead alongside MADD, is a requirement that over the next few years major automobile manufacturers will be required to develop and install devices to ensure that whether you are impaired can be detected when you get behind the vehicle.”


Event sponsors include Signature Sponsors UKG and Salah Foundation; Presenting Sponsor Sheriff’s Foundation of Broward County; Road Guardian Sponsor Weinstein Legal Team; Corporate Champion Sponsors Aetna, Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Durée & Company, Florida Highway Patrol, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, JM Family, Memorial Healthcare System, and the Miami Heat; Spotlight Sponsors Brinkley Morgan, BBX Capital, LaCroix, Publix, Rotary Club of Weston, Steinger, Greene & Feiner, Thomas & Pearl Injury Attorneys, and Westway Towing; and MADD Milestone Sponsors Baptist Health, Crowe, LLP, and David Geronemus & Mitzi Lyman 


Donations will continue to be accepted at through May 28.


For more information, please visit


By ML Staff. Photo Credit: Downtown Photo


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