My name is Patty Evans, and I am Chief Marketing Officer for The Meadows. Today I am in need of using this blog forum to express my thoughts, grief and personal actions to motivate us all to do something today.
Yesterday, I heard of the loss of actor, comedian, humanitarian, and father, Robin Williams— it saddened me greatly. I lived in Los Angeles during the rise of his career and watched a superstar evolve from the Comedy Store. I was moved significantly by his work in the movie Patch Adams. In a weird, round-about way, I was able to connect professionally with the real Patch Adams. As it turned out, I arranged for him to speak at an event for a group of highly regarded clinical professionals. The intention of this perhaps unconventional speaker to this group of mental health providers was to help everyone experience his life’s work related to the healing power of joy and laughter. In writing this, I do want to pay my respect to Mr. Williams’s family; however, that is not my full intention.
I am concerned about the impact of loss throughout our nation created by driving accidents related to alcoholism and addiction. Near my home town, on a Saturday night, a 22-year-old female decided to go for a drive to “clear her head” after a fight with her boyfriend. Her decision came after consuming three shots of tequila and three shots of rum along with beer. A very tragic decision. This young adult veered across the lane and struck another vehicle, killing two people and critically injuring a third. A 28-year-old mother of four was pronounced dead at the scene along with her father; her mother survived but was in critical condition. Their last moments were spent bowling together and talking about the new start their daughter would have with a new job starting that week. She, unfortunately, leaves behind four young children now.
So why am I writing this now? I want us all to get really concerned about these losses. I hope that we can keep this story alive for more than 48-hours on the local news. We all have young adults in our lives—please, let’s join together, be bold, and keep our conversations alive daily about the hazards of drinking and driving.
We all have a voice of influence, and my hope is that we will stand together and use our influence. It is not just about a couple beers or partying or that everyone is doing it. Unfortunately, this is the message most frequently heard by our young adults. Join me in spreading the message to every young adult we can reach today that driving and drinking is unacceptable—today, tomorrow and daily. Our efforts may just make a difference.