Local MADD chapter up and running

MADD Kimbrook welcomes first School Assembly Program

The Kimberley-Cranbrook branch of MADD Canada is hosting its first school event this week after forming mere months ago.

Katryna Sigurdson is the new community leader for the branch, commonly known as Kimbrook, and is happy to be welcoming MADD’s School Assembly Program to area schools on October 18. The presentations are developed new each year and toured around Canada. Sigurdson said they have always stopped in the area, but this year will be the first time a local chapter has been involved in bringing them here.

The presentation this year will be “Long Weekend,” a fictional story of four youths who make risky decisions as they enjoy a weekend at a cottage. Following the tale that twists into a horrific story of impaired driving, real-life stories are told about four people who have been killed in impaired driving crashes.

Sigurdson said the new local chapter will be an active one, with a number of events coming up in the next few months. Funds raised here will stay in the local community and events will be targeted to the issues in the Kimberley-Cranbrook area.

“It’s always important to have a local chapter,” Sigurdson said. “This way it’s geared to your local area.”

The chapter has already been active in the community, hosting a Bagging for Charity event at Overwaitea Foods in Kimberley on October 6 and a Celebrity Server night at Boston Pizza.

Details will emerge as new events get closer, but Sigurdson said there will be a Breakfast with Santa Claus fundraiser in December and a ski and snowboard event in January.

Volunteers are needed to give the new chapter a kick start in the community.

“If people have a certain area of expertise they are certainly welcome to come out and help,” Sigurdson said.

To get involved with the local chapter visit MADD Kimbrook on Facebook or email them at MADDkimbrook@gmail.com.

The Long Weekend presentation will start off at Selkirk Secondary School in Kimberley on October 18 at 8:45 a.m. Students at Mount Baker Secondary School will have two opportunities to catch the performance at 12:40 p.m. and 2 p.m.

“Educating this age group is essential at changing long term behaviours,” Sigurdson. said “We also encourage parents to come out and view the presentation.”

MADD Canada says that almost 50 per cent of all road crash deaths involving 15 to 24 year olds  are alcohol-related. In 2009, approximately 350 young people were killed and 41,000 were injured in impairment-related crashes. Also in 2009, 16 to 25 year olds constituted just 13.7 per cent of the population, but accounted for nearly 31.1 per cent of all alcohol-related crash deaths.

For more information on MADD, visit their website at www.madd.ca.