By Todd Cohen
RALEIGH, N.C. — Last year, 553 people lost their lives because of drunk drivers in North Carolina, which ranks 7th among the 50 states in the number of deaths through drunk driving.
Now, as part of a national reorganization of Mothers Against Drunk Driving to better address the problem, MADD’s Raleigh-based North Carolina office is gearing up to strengthen its education and fundraising efforts in the state.
MADD, formed in 1980 and based in Austin, Tex., last year decided to shift fundraising and budgeting responsibilities to its state offices, which in turn will support their local chapters with funding, fundraising and programs.
The North Carolina office, for example, will hold its first-ever statewide fundraising event April 22 and aims to raise $100,000 that it will use to begin to reduce the funding its receives from its national office, says Craig Lloyd, executive director of the state office.
“Our goal is to be self-sufficient within two years,” says Lloyd, who joined MADD on Dec. 15 after serving as the Raleigh-based director of corporate relations for the South Atlantic Division of the American Cancer Society.
With an annual budget of $250,000, the state office in the past has received most of its funds from the national MADD office and from state and national grants, with an independent state board deciding how to spend those dollars and overseeing statewide programs.
Under the reorganization, the state offices will raise their own money, with an advisory state board helping to carry out policies set by the national office.
The state office will divvy up funds among local chapters and also will help them raise money locally for local MADD programs.
In addition to Strides for Change, a 5K walk to be held at the Sheraton Imperial Center in Research Triangle Park, programs include multi-media presentations in schools; support for highway “checkpoints” by law enforcement agencies; victim services and courtroom monitoring; and recruitment of corporate members.
A corporate membership costs $553, signifying the number of people killed by drunk drivers in the state last year.
The state chapter also is looking for sponsors for the multi-media school presentations, each of which costs $1,000.
Lloyd says the state office plans this year to open a Charlotte office, which then would work to form chapter offices serving individual counties or groups of offices in the Charlotte area.
Eventually, he says, the state office wants to open offices in Asheville, Fayetteville, Greensboro, High Point, Wilmington and Winston-Salem.