Re­mind­ing peo­ple not to drink and drive

MADD kicks off Red Rib­bon cam­paign in Labrador West, IOC gives ini­tia­tive a boost

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - Front Page - BY MIKE POWER

MADD mem­bers and Iron Ore Com­pany of Canada em­ploy­ees put a red rib­bon on this mas­sive haul truck, the first of thou­sands to rib­bons be dis­trib­uted to all work­ers. It was a MADD week­end. Moth­ers Against Drunk Driv­ing (MADD) kicked off their an­nual Red Rib­bon cam­paign with two days of events.

On Fri­day, Nov. 30, there was an event to ex­plain the cam­paign and to thank the many sup­port­ers of MADD in Labrador West.

Dur­ing the evening there were

words from many of the par­tic­i­pants, but the main theme was don’t drink (or use drugs that cause im­pair­ment) and drive.

For­mer pres­i­dent Josephine Gaulton-Rowe spoke about her in­volve­ment in get­ting the MADD chap­ter started in the area.

“I had two sis­ters killed by a drunk driver and af­ter hear­ing about MADD and lis­ten­ing to what they did, we called a meet­ing in Labrador West and the chap­ter was formed,” she said.

Gaulton-Rowe told those gath­ered that for many years she was an­gry at the driver and an­gry about what hap­pened. At an­other na­tional MADD meet­ing she en­coun­tered a mem­ber who went through a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion and dealt with it.

“I had to lose the anger, it was eat­ing away at me,” she said. “I did and now I work to send the pos­i­tive mes­sage ‘don’t drink and drive,’” she said.

At Fri­days gath­er­ing and then at an event at the Iron Ore Com­pany of Canada (IOC), fol­lowed by the Red Rib­bon launch, par­tic­i­pants were told if they are go­ing out and they plan to drink, make an ar­range­ment to get home safely. Call a taxi, have a des­ig­nated driver, ar­range for a friend to come and get them — it’s that sim­ple.

Statis­tics show that, on av­er­age, four peo­ple a day die in Canada be­cause of drunk driv­ing and scores more are se­ri­ously in­jured.

IOC ef­fort

On Dec. 1 the day kicked off at IOC, who made ef­forts to strengthen their com­mit­ment to MADD and the RNC to help com­bat against drunk driv­ing.

Heather Bruce-Veitch, direc­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions and ex­ter­nal af­fairs for IOC, along with MADD mem­bers drove to the mine where the first red rib­bon of thou­sands to be dis­trib­uted to IOC work­ers was tied to a mas­sive haul truck.

IOC gen­eral man­ager Scott Bar­ney, as­sisted by MADD mem­bers, tied a rib­bon to one of the light ve­hi­cles.

Bruce-Veitch says rib­bons will be placed on all their light ve­hi­cles. They are en­cour­ag­ing em­ploy­ees to do the same and to chal­lenge each other.

At IOC the mes­sage is ‘Tie it, wear it, show it, share it, live it.”

Af­ter leav­ing the mine the group headed to the Labrador Mall where the MADD Christ­mas tree sits in the cen­tre area. It is full of red rib­bons and memo­ri­als to peo­ple who have died as a re­sult of drunk driv­ing.

RNC Sgt. Lisa Har­ris was one of the many po­lice of­fi­cers that par­tic­i­pated in the event. She ex­plained that more pa­trols would be held dur­ing the Christ­mas sea­son, as more peo­ple tend to cel­e­brate and have Christ­mas par­ties, which of­ten in­cludes al­co­hol.

Like MADD, Har­ris en­cour­ages peo­ple to call 911 if they sus­pect some­body is driv­ing im­paired.

Lo­cal MADD pres­i­dent Thelma Rick­etts em­pha­sized the fact and men­tioned that there is also a se­ri­ous prob­lem with peo­ple who drink and then use snow­mo­biles.

At that point Bruce-Veitch came for­ward and said IOC was also con­cerned about that as well and pre­sented Har­ris with the keys to a new snow­mo­bile, to as­sist RNC of­fi­cers to make more pa­trols on the snow­mo­bile trails.

The cam­paign was of­fi­cially launched, and the many peo­ple who were there to sup­port MADD were pro­vided with red rib­bons and other items. There was singing and re­fresh­ments and ev­i­dence that the don’t drink and drive mes­sage is be­ing heard loud and clear. MADD mem­bers hope peo­ple heed it.

PHO­TOS BY MIKE POWER – SPE­CIAL TO THE AU­RORA

From left, Labrador West MADD pres­i­dent Thelma Rick­etts, for­mer pres­i­dent Josephine-Gaulton-Rowe, Scott Bar­ney with the Iron Ore Com­pany of Canada, and Lisa Meade from MADD.

MADD mem­bers and their sup­port­ers cut the rib­bon to start the Red Rib­bon cam­paign.

MIKE POWER – SPE­CIAL TO THE AU­RORA

Heather Bruce-Veitch, direc­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions and ex­ter­nal re­la­tions with IOC, presents Sgt. Lisa Har­ris of the RNC with keys to a new snow­mo­bile to be used in pa­trols.

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