Stop the Traffic, Run a Race

Every day there are 28 fatalities as a result of drunk driving accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. New York State Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Walk Manager, Tara Spohrer, is committed to stopping the traffic.

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“Our mission is to end drunk driving and support the families of these violent crimes, as well as prevent underage drinking. I originally got involved because unfortunately my good friend’s uncle was killed by an impaired driver. My friend informed me how MADD’s victim services helped her family. To see someone I know being helped by this organization meant a lot to me.”

Spohrer and four teammates from MADD will be among thousands of runners who stop traffic when they participate in the 5K event at the Suffolk County Marathon Oct. 30. She hopes participating in the event, which is being done in conjunction with a Taste of Patchogue and is expected to bring thousands to the area, will raise awareness for the cause. The team will be wearing MADD T-shirts and has raised a few hundred dollars so far.

Running has always been a go-to way for Spohrer to stay healthy. She’s completed two half marathons in the past and a number of 5K and 10K events. This will be her first time competing in a 5K race to benefit Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Westbury native is happy to do it on her Island.

“It’s special that it’s so close to home, so that we are making a difference right here on Long Island and in New York. As a professional fundraiser for 10 years, almost three with MADD, I’ve seen the importance of participating in run/walk events to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes, while supporting those who have been impacted.”

Funds raised by Mothers Against Drunk Driving support educational programs and victim services, which are free of charge to the community.

Services include court accompaniment, criminal justice advocacy, one-on-one and group support both in person and over the phone helped Spohrer’s friend and her family, and continues to benefit others alike.

“It’s a great way to work with others in the community and we look forward to growing our participation numbers in the coming years, and are glad for the opportunity to participate.”