MADD Canada

MADD Canada

April 23, 2010 08:02 ET

MADD Canada conference helps victims rebuild lives

People who have lost a loved one or suffered serious injury in an impaired driving crash find hope and fellowship at National Victims’ Weekend and Candlelight Vigil of Hope and Remembrance.

Attention: City Editor, News Editor TORONTO/ONTARIO/MEDIA RELEASE--(Marketwire - April 23, 2010) - More than 200 delegates come together today to open MADD Canada's 17th Annual National Victims' Weekend and Candlelight Vigil of Hope and Remembrance.

The delegates span all age groups and backgrounds, come from all walks of life, yet have one tragic thing in common; they have all been affected by impaired driving.

"Rebuilding Lives after Tragedy" is the theme for this year's conference, being sponsored by Impact Auto Auctions.

"Rebuilding your life after losing a loved one or suffering a serious injury is a difficult and ongoing process," said MADD Canada National President Margaret Miller. "We are touched by the loss every single day but we must find ways to cope and move forward. This conference is a safe and comforting environment where victims can come together to share their experiences."

Sessions led by caring professionals and empathic peers provide an environment of comfort where victims gain support and strength. Sessions include the dynamics of grief, parenting after the loss of a child, what to expect after the loss of a loved one and special programming for youth aged 15 to 25.

The weekend is headlined by the Candlelight Vigil of Hope and Remembrance, to be held Saturday, April 24 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. With photos and the lighting of a single candle for each victim, the ceremony offers delegates a way to pay tribute to a loved one who has been killed or acknowledge injuries caused by impaired driving.

"The Victims' Weekend is really a healing experience. Victims learn that they are not alone in their grief," Mrs. Miller said. "There is a network of support and resources available to them, and they leave the conference with a sense of comfort and the knowledge that there are others who understand their feelings and can offer support."

Supporting victims of impaired driving is MADD Canada's number one priority. Among the services offered: grief and bereavement support, support through the criminal justice system, assistance with victim impact statements, help with understanding victims' rights, a lending library, brochures, community referrals and trained victim service volunteers.

National Victims' Weekend coincides with the National Victims' of Crime Awareness Week, April 18 - 24. MADD Canada will be in Ottawa for the campaign and to debut a new public service announcement (PSA) titled "Every Victim Matters". The radio psa was made possible by a grant from the Department of Justice to help MADD Canada raise awareness of the services and resources available to victims of impaired driving.

About MADD Canada
MADD Canada (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is a national, charitable organization that is committed to stopping impaired driving and supporting the victims of this violent crime. With volunteer-driven groups in more than 100 communities across Canada, MADD Canada aims to offer support services to victims, heighten awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and save lives and prevent injuries on our roads.
/For further information: Margaret Miller, MADD Canada Volunteer National President at 902-758-5328
Wanda Kristensen, MADD Canada Director of Programs at 1-800-665-6233, ext. 229 or 905-330-4632

Note to Media in the Greater Toronto Area:
Media are welcome to attend the Candlelight Vigil of Hope and Remembrance on April 24, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the BMO Financial Group Institute for Learning, 3550 Pharmacy Ave., Scarborough. For details, please contact Deb Kelly, MADD Canada Communications Manager at 416-995-8237.

Contact Information

  • Margaret Miller, National President, MADD Canada
    Primary Phone: 902-758-5328