Holiday Yum: Mocktail Mania

Hubby and I toast to each of you! Thank you for another amazing year of blogging fun, friendship and family! We wish each of you health, happiness and uber success in 2013!

Hubby and I toast to each of you! Thank you for another amazing year of blogging fun, friendship and family! We wish each of you health, happiness and uber success in 2013!

Today I am pulling up the rear of our wonderful Holiday Yum blog series. Please extend a bazillion thanks to our uberlicious hostess, the ever-fabulous Kathy Owen who initiated, organized and ran a splendidly fun blog series. I hope you’ve all enjoyed it.

New Year’s Eve is around the corner and I thought what better time to do a post on some responsible holiday “hostess with the mostess” practices followed by some uberlicious mocktail suggestions.

Being a Responsible Host

Being a good host means protecting your guests, yourself and others, as well as having a good time. You wouldn’t want to wake up the next morning to find out one of your guest’s got nailed for impaired driving or worse, injured or killed someone.

If you are going to host a party and serve alcohol (or have people bring their own booze), it’s smart to think about how you can help ensure your guests don’t drive impaired.

  • Make sure you have food available.
  • Have non-alcohol and low-alcohol beverage options available (see ideas below).
  • If you are providing the alcohol, serve the drinks rather than offering a self-service bar. Self-service may encourage heavy consumption and make it more difficult for you to keep track of your guests’ drinking.
  • Don’t serve alcohol to anyone who is or may be intoxicated.
  • Don’t encourage intoxication by serving extra-strong drinks, double shots or high alcohol content beer.
  • Have numbers available for taxi companies and be prepared to have intoxicated guests spend the night.
  • Stop serving alcohol long before you expect the party to break up. It’s not smart to serve people alcohol immediately before they drive or otherwise try to get home.
  • Watch your own consumption. The more you drink, the more difficult it will be for you to anticipate problems, supervise the event and intervene to avoid potential problems.
  • Have a couple of volunteer designated drivers who are willing to chauffeur people home.

What do you do if your drunk friend/family member insists on driving?

Insist they don’t drive. Obviously you don’t want to physically tackle them but if you can calmly and reasonably take the keys from them, do so. Then call them a cab or have someone insist on driving them home.

In a worse case situation, if someone leaves your house and you know they are driving impaired, you can call 911. I can imagine that this would be a tough decision to make but remember you need to put that person’s own personal safety and the safety of those on the road first.

Mocktails

As a responsible host, one of the best things you can do for your guests is to provide some non-alcoholic beverage options. In August, I wrote about how I was a douchebag host for years offering my guests pop and water as a non-alcoholic option and…I mean…it’s better than nothing but good lord people…we can do better for our DDs!

Today there are so many amazing options out there to have FUN with. Options that will give you a hostess with the mostess reputation. Everyone will want to come to your parties and be the DD. You’ll be the talk of the town. Even the biggest boozers will want to convert just to enjoy some of your mocktail madness.

MADD Virgin Drinks

First…there’s my ultimate favorite: MADD Virgin Drinks! OMG can you say delicious?! Hubby and I had the opportunity to try a few of their mocktail options at MADD Canada’s Leadership Conference in September (and they sent us home with samples…squeee) and I can’t say enough about them. The champagne, brut, mojitos and margaritas are to DIE FOR. A.MAZ.ING! And they are 100% alcohol free.

Our MADD Virgin Drink Samples...long gone...must order more!

Our MADD Virgin Drink Samples…long gone…must order more!

Not to mention, 10% of net sales goes to MADD Canada.

Let’s see…serve your guests amazing mocktail drinks…support MADD Canada…win hostess of the year! WIN WIN WIN!

Check out their Canadian Store Locator (most Shoppers Drug Mart carry them) or their US Store Locator to find a retailer near you. You can also order online at their Canadian online store and USA online store. They offer trade and volume discounts. Love that!

Here are some other ideas of fun mocktails you can make at home yourself…

Mock Champagne

Recipe makes 24 servings

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 4 cups 7UP or Sprite
  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Serve in champagne flutes.
  3. Add strawberries or raspberries in each glass to give it a little extra pizazz.

Tornado Twists

Recipe makes 2 servings

  • 12 fluid ounces cranberry-raspberry juice
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage
  1. In a pitcher, mix cranberry-raspberry juice with lemon-lime soda.
  2. Pour over ice and serve.

Alcohol-Free Pina Colada

Recipe makes 2 servings

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 1/4 cups pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  1. In an electric blender, blend ice, pineapple juice, milk, cream, and sugar.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve in glass garnished with pineapple wedge or little umbrella.

Sparkling Punch

 Recipe makes 20 servings

  • 2 lemons
  • 3 large oranges
  • 1 (6 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 1 liter club soda
  • 2 (750 millilitre) bottles sparkling apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 trays ice cubes
  1. Thinly slice the lemons and the oranges and place in a large punch bowl.
  2. Pour in the thawed lemonade.
  3. Gently stir in the club soda and the sparkling apple cider.
  4. Add sugar to taste.
  5. Add ice.
  6. Serve in margaritas glasses.

For other fabulous mocktail ideas, check out HGTV’s suggestions. Or Google mocktails for oodles of options.

What are some of your favorite mocktails to serve and enjoy? Be sure to include recipes for all the readers to enjoy. 

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

Text MADD to 45678 to donate $5 today. Report impaired drivers – CALL 911.

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I have been proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

This week’s highlights:

Already Posted:

Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

This holiday season…please don’t drink and drive

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As a responsible party host, how will you ensure people don’t drink and drive when leaving your holiday festivities? What would you do if a friend of yours wanted to drive impaired? To what length would you go to stop them? I’d love to hear your thoughts?

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

Text MADD to 45678 to donate $5 today. Report impaired drivers – CALL 911.

Krista Noack’s story

I came across Krista’s story via MADD Canada’s Facebook news feed. I watched the video and was deeply touched and moved by her story. Krista talked briefly about the added impact she felt in losing her boyfriend Jesse to an impaired driver. She had to deal with running into the impaired driver in her everyday life. Imagine having to come face to face with the person that killed your loved one at the grocery store?

In the end, I loved how Krista spoke about not letting Jesse be a statistic and how she’s found solace in getting involved with MADD Canada. I want to say a big thank you to Krista for sharing her story with the world and giving her time to MADD Canada. There is no doubt in my mind that she is saving lives in Jesse’s honor…blessings to her and Jesse’s families!

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How would you handle having to run into the impaired driver that killed your loved one at the grocery store? How do you master forgiveness while in the throes of grief? I’d love to hear your thoughts?

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

Text MADD to 45678 to donate $5 today. Report impaired drivers – CALL 911.

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I am proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

This week’s highlights:

Already Posted:

Stay tuned for:

  • December 17: I am back with a recipe for Cheesecake that is so simple but even I messed it up once
  • December 19: Jenny Hansen’s Holly Candy
  • December 23: Jess Witkins will entice us with either some comfort food or appetizer
  • December 26: Kathy Owen will come through with beef rib-eye roast with currant jelly brown gravy
  • December 28:  I will give you some fabulous Mocktail options for your New Year’s Eve parties

Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

When are lifetime driving bans appropriate?

Drunk Driver Arrested

On July 14, 2012, 63-year-old Elizabeth Sovis and her husband of 34 years, Edmund Aunger, were biking along a road in Prince Edward Island, Canada while on a cycling vacation from Alberta. They were on their way to the bed and breakfast where they were staying. Aunger’s wife never made it to the B&B. She was struck by a 49-year-old drunk driver (who was found to have a blood alcohol level almost three times the legal limit of .08). She died in her husband’s arms by the side of the road.

This week, the driver was sentenced after pleading guilty to impaired driving causing death.

According to a news report last Friday, the Crown asked for an 8-year prison sentence along with a lifetime driving ban. The Defence however proposed a 3 to 4-year prison sentence but asked that the driver be allowed to get his license back at some point because he operates a plumbing and heating company.

*In my most sarcastic voice* Oh the hardship!!!

On Tuesday I was very happy to read here that the judge heeded the Crown’s suggestion (somewhat) and sentenced the man to six years in prison and did indeed ban the man from driving for life.

Hallelujah!

In delivering his decision, the judge talked about the man’s four previous impaired driving convictions as aggravating factors in the case given that he had his license suspended four times and that still didn’t stop him from drinking and driving the day he killed the cyclist.

YA THINK!??!

The judge did mentioned the driver’s cooperation with police and immediate guilty plea as mitigating factors (ok…I will give him that…he didn’t drag this family through a lengthy court battle) and acknowledged that the driver battles with alcoholism. That being said, the judge also remarked that although alcoholism is a disease, the driver did exercise his free will and choose to drive while drunk…period!

One of the saddest parts of the story is that in his victim impact statement, Aunger said he partially blames himself for his wife’s death because he was riding ahead of her at the time of the crash when normally he would have been riding behind her.

That is what this man is left to live with. He went on a cycling vacation with his wife of 34 years and returned home grief stricken and full of self-blame.

Who’s serving the life sentence here?

Y’all know I am for harsher prison sentences when it comes to impaired driving causing death. I believe we should have a minimum sentence of 10 years (at least). I am somewhat pleased with the six years since it’s definitely higher than the 3 year sentences we’ve been seeing.

But where I really want to commend the judge is on imposing a lifetime driving ban.

I believe this should also be part of the minimum sentences when a person is convicted of impaired driving causing death. When you get behind the wheel of a vehicle drunk and you take someone’s life, you should never be given a second chance to do it again. Not to mention, since the family has to serve a life sentence of grief, it would be fair, if not a smidge comforting, to know that the perpetrator also has to serve something of a life sentence.

For me, to often people convicted of impaired driving cause death are released from prison after serving next to no real time. And then after completing their programs and parole, they go back to life as usual. Yes, they suffer some consequences but at some point, they can put the entire experience behind them and move forward like it never happened. I mean, depending on the sentence type, they can even apply for a pardon after 3 to 10 years.

It’s not right.

It’s not fair.

It’s certainly not justice.

Driving is a privilege, not a right!

If you choose to drive drunk and you take someone’s life, I believe you should have to feel the consequences of that decisions for the rest of your life. And not just in your heart but to experience a physical hardship for the rest of your life.

My question is, why does there have to be aggravating circumstances? In this case, the lifetime driving ban was due in large part to the escalation factor of the drunk driver’s record with four prior DUIs. Why? Why must a lifetime driving ban only occur when there is a prior record?

Isn’t killing someone aggravating factor enough?

And what strikes me as even sadder still is that it was apparent that this guy was a perpetual drunk driver. And it took someone dying before we got him off the road permanently. What could have been done to ensure it didn’t get to this stage?

What do you think? When are lifetime driving bans appropriate? Are they ever? Should we impose them before a drunk driver escalates to the point of killing someone? I’d love to hear your thoughts?

Although I’ve stated my position pretty firmly, I want you to know that I am open to hearing from the other side of the coin so don’t be shy…if you disagree; you are more than welcome to voice your opinion and know you’ll be respected!

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

Text MADD to 45678 to donate $5 today. Report impaired drivers – CALL 911.

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I am proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

This week’s highlights:

Already Posted:

Stay tuned for:

  • December 10: Kathy Owen’s Butter Spritz Cookies
  • December 14: Ellen M. Gregg’s Old-fashioned Buttermilk Sugar Cookies (with Christmas punch)
  • December 17: I am back with a recipe for Cheesecake that is so simple but even I messed it up once
  • December 19: Jenny Hansen’s Holly Candy
  • December 23: Jess Witkins will entice us with either some comfort food or appetizer
  • December 26: Kathy Owen will come through with beef rib-eye roast with currant jelly brown gravy
  • December 28:  I will give you some fabulous Mocktail options for your New Year’s Eve parties

Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

Losing a loved one to impaired driving

Mamma K

It’s hard sometimes to explain to people how losing a loved one to impaired driving is different from losing someone in a way that doesn’t involve a criminal act. I say that because I was one of those people who had no idea. It never dawned on me. And not because I’m not a sensitive or empathic person, I most certainly am. But until you’ve experienced it, you can’t know what you don’t know.

I lost my Dad in a car accident in 1991. An oncoming driver hit a piece of black ice, spun out of control and hit my Dad head on. He was killed instantly. And although it was devastating, our family always knew that it was an accident. We knew that the driver wasn’t negligent, he wasn’t on the phone or texting, he hadn’t been drinking, and he wasn’t on drugs. What happened just happened. No one could have predicted it or prevented it. And in that “knowing”, the family had peace and never blamed the driver of the truck that hit Dad. We grieved, we mourned, we were devastated but we were able to heal, grown, move on and rebuild.

When an impaired driver steals a loved one from your life (or injures them), it’s very different. It’s someone’s fault. Someone made a choice, a conscious decision that resulted in the death or injury of a loved one…that resulted in your pain and suffering!

When Mamma K was killed and The Dude injured on August 1, 2009, we were told almost immediately that the police suspected the driver was impaired and that a blood sample had been sent away for analysis. That was in August. We waited months (6 months in fact) after Mamma K was killed to finally get official notice that the blood sample came back from the lab and that the offender would be officially charged with impaired driving causing death.

The emotional toll of waiting MONTHS to hear this verdict was devastating. The family couldn’t move forward. Everything was suspended in time. The wound was open and festering while we wondering if salt was about to be poured on it or not. There was no healing. There was no growing. It was an opened, angered pain waiting to erupt at any moment…for months on end.

It was like watching a thriller movie where you are sitting on the edge of your seat, the terrifying music building and building as you know the “jump” scene is coming at any moment and then BAM! You leap from your seat with almost relief to have the building tension finally over. Only ours lasted for months….

When the driver was finally charged with impaired driving causing death, everything became real in the blink of an eye. All of a sudden we were stricken with a deep and profound knowing that this didn’t have to happen. That it had been preventable. Mamma K didn’t have to die and The Dude didn’t need to be injured and emotionally scarred for life.

Suddenly, we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt (court or no court) that someone knowingly and consciously made the choice to put the lives of innocent people at risk and we were the ones that lost his gamble. You have no idea how that consumes you. How it permeates through your entire being. How the pain and anger curses through your veins…every moment of every single day. There was intense and all-consuming anger, pain, hatred, revenge, blame, unfairness, and disgust that now couples in with your grief. Suddenly….someone has DONE this TO you.

How do you swallow that? How you come to terms with that? How do you accept that someone killed and injured someone you love?

Let me tell you…you don’t…ever!

And then, to make matters worse, starts the endless sea of court dates and the emotional roller coaster of that experience. Ours was 20 months and well over a dozen court visits.

  • Will he get charged?
  • What will he plead?
  • Why did he plead not guilty?
  • Will he get off?
  • Will the defense’s arguments stand?
  • Will the prosecution’s arguments stand?
  • Wait and see….
  • OMG, the defense won and that evidence is out. Devastation. The man who did this will get off.
  • But wait…there’s another possible way to get the evidence in….
  • More arguments on both sides….more waiting…
  • The decision that the other evidence is in. Elation!
  • The guilty verdict. Elation.
  • Closure? Nope.
  • More pain. Writing and reading victim impact statements. How do you put into worse the impact of losing your loved one and seeing your step-son profoundly injured? You try. But somehow you never feel like your words quite capture it.
  • Sentencing.
  • Closure? Nope.
  • Jail notification – he got day parole.
  • Jail notification – he went to Moncton for something.
  • Jail notifications keep coming – for this that and the other thing.
  • Jail notification – he’s up for parole.
  • Jail notification – do you want to submit new victim impact statements, do you want to read them aloud, do you want to attend his parole hearing, fill out forms upon forms upon forms.
  • Drive to attend parole hearing.
  • Bite your lip as you watch his mother defend him…as he defends himself…as he demonstrates no remorse or accountability.
  • Parole denied…elation.
  • More pain knowing he’ll get statutory release after serving only 2 years for killing Mamma K and injuring The Dude…devastation.

It goes on and on…

Our impaired driving case has been going on for nearly 4 years. Even though he was found guilty and sentenced to jail, it doesn’t stop there. It’s like this never-ending emotional roller coaster. How do you ever put it behind you? How do you ever find closure when it’s like a gaping wound, open and festering being poked over and over again?

After my Dad died, yes it was hard. Yes it took time. Yes it was horrific and devastating and awful but we were able to grieve…heal…and move forward with our lives. We weren’t entangled with this massive thing called the criminal justice system that seems to do anything but provide justice…that seems to re-victimize the true innocents over and over again. After Dad died, we weren’t reading the Criminal Code of Canada, talking to lawyers and prosecutors, researching other drunk driving cases and the like for days and months and years. We were able to grieve and move on. Period.

This…is so much more!

I share this with you not so you feel sorry for us. Not so you send hugs and love (although I know you do and they are gratefully appreciated). I share this with you all so that you know.

  • So when you hear of an impaired driving story where someone has died or has been injured, you can have a better appreciation for the process that family is embarking on.
  • So when you see a suspected impaired driver on the road, you won’t hesitate to call 911.
  • So when you host a party this holiday season, you will be diligent in having alcohol-free options and will insist everyone have a safe and sober plan to get home.
  • So when you hear of someone talking in passing about having driven drunk, you won’t hesitate to speak out.

Because…now you know. You know the devastation. You know the risk is way too high. You know the cost is much too high. And the more of us who are out there, who know and who spread the message, the greater the chance that one day we will win this battle and will stop impaired driving once and for all….

Losing a loved one is tragic and devastating enough on its own – knowing someone’s negligence and choices were responsible just makes it that much worse.

Please…share our story! Help save a life!

How has the lost or injury of a loved on impacted your life? How do you cope and heal? How do you plan to spread the awareness of the dangers of impaired driving this holiday season?  I’d love to hear your thoughts?

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

Text MADD to 45678 to donate $5 today. Report impaired drivers – CALL 911.

More blog deliciousness here:

For the month of November and December, I am proud to be taking part in the Holiday Yum Blog Hop where a group of uber bloggers will regale you with recipes and funny cooking stories.

This week’s highlights:

Already Posted:

Stay tuned for:

  • December 2: Estee Lavitt’s Latkes
  • December 5: Yours truly with French Lace Cookies
  • December 10: Kathy Owen’s Butter Spritz Cookies
  • December 14: Ellen M. Gregg’s Old-fashioned Buttermilk Sugar Cookies (with Christmas punch)
  • December 17: I am back with a recipe for Cheesecake that is so simple but even I messed it up once
  • December 19: Jenny Hansen’s Holly Candy
  • December 23: Jess Witkins will entice us with either some comfort food or appetizer
  • December 26: Kathy Owen will come through with beef rib-eye roast with currant jelly brown gravy
  • December 28:  I will give you some fabulous Mocktail options for your New Year’s Eve parties

Be sure to check out our ever uberlicious host, Kathy Owen’s Holiday Yum page and leave her some blog hop luv!

How do you give back to your community?

I was blown away when I watched MADD Canada’s latest PSA entitled “Impact — Victim Support“. Its goal is to let the public know that MADD Canada has victim support services available. MADD Canada’s mission isn’t just to stop impaired driving. It’s also to support the victims of this violent crime. The organization and its hundreds of chapters and volunteers across Canada offer support to those who have lost a loved one or who themselves have been injured in an impaired driving crash.

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It’s timely that I watched it now because while you are reading this, hubby and I are embarking on a 5-hour drive to Windsor, Nova Scotia to take the weekend-long Level II training to become MADD Canada Victim Service Volunteers; otherwise known as a VSV.

VSVs are there to offer support to victims of impaired driving. To become a certified VSV, hubby and I have to undertake two levels of training. First, we had to complete an online training course that took about 10 hours to complete and was designed to increase our sensitivity and knowledge of victims’ issues. We had to receive a “gold” standing to be invited to take the next level of training, which we did – woot woot.

Level II, which we are taking this weekend, is an advanced face-to-face training course. Once we successfully complete this training, as well as meet other screening requirements (criminal background check etc), we will then officially become MADD Canada certified VSVs.

As VSVs, our role in the community will be to provide emotional and practical support either face-to-face or over the phone to victims. As requested, we will offer victims support such as information, a list of relevant resources, advice on how to obtain accident and/or collision autopsy reports, guidance on communicating with crown attorneys, investigating officers, probation officers and/or parole officers and other services as appropriate to victims. We might also be asked to assist victims with the criminal justice process and civil litigation such as court accompaniment or helping them to write a victim impact statement.

As well, we’ll be able to bring them information on many of MADD Canada’s national services such as the National Memorial Wall, traveling wall and On-line Tributes as well as the National Conference for Victims of Impaired Driving and the Annual Candlelight Vigil.

I can’t tell you how inspiring it is to think about giving back to others in the same way that we were supported as a family. It’s sort of like coming full circle. To have the opportunity to offer support to someone in a time of tragedy is both an honor and a privilege.

Keep your fingers crossed that we pass…especially now that I put it all out there.

How do you give back in your community? During times of crisis or tragedy, what kind of support have  you benefited from and/or has surprised you? If you have lost a loved or were injured by an impaired driver, what kind of support has really helped you? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on the Web.

Text MADD to 45678 to donate $5 today. Report impaired drivers – CALL 911.

More blog deliciousness here:

  • World building intimidates me but Fae Rowen’s post on Writers in the Storm on with world building techniques made it sound way more doable!
  • After reading Patricia Sands interview post with Nicky Wells, I am dying to read her books!
  • FAB guest post by Tamara Ireland Stone on Janice Hardy’s blog about using writing prompts. I definitely filed this one away to use.

Tie a MADD Canada red ribbon and show the world you pledge to drive sober

Across Canada, local chapters of MADD Canada are launching the Project Red Ribbon campaign. From November 1st to the first Monday after New Year’s Day, local Chapters together with area businesses are asking residents of their communities to tie a MADD Canada red ribbon to their antenna, side mirror or other visible location on the vehicle and/or on their key chain, purse, backpack or briefcase.

The red ribbon is a small but powerful symbol. It signifies a person’s commitment to drive safe and sober during the holiday season and throughout the year. It also serves as a tribute to all victims who have been killed or injured in impaired driving crashes.

Project Red Ribbon targets the Christmas and New Year holiday season because it is the busiest time of year on most social calendars; with so many social gatherings and holiday toasts, there is a high risk for impaired driving.

And this year is especially uberlicious because it marks the 25th anniversary of Project Red Ribbon and a 25-year-long partnership with Allstate Insurance Company. Can you imagine? How often do you hear about a 25-year-long corporate partnership? Love it!

In that time, Allstate Canada has been a supporter of many of MADD Canada’s programs, including Project Red RibbonCampaign 911 and the School Assembly Program, as well as numerous statistical and research publications, resources for victims and other resource, education and awareness materials. Not to mention, Allstate Canada is the Title Sponsor of the 2012 Project Red Ribbon campaign.

In honour of the 25th annual Project Red Ribbon campaign, a special statement is being released by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Member Statements are being read in the House of Commons and the Senate. Across the country, provincial/territorial proclamations, statements or other observances to mark Project Red Ribbon are happening in: Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Québec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, the Yukon and Nunavut.

It breaks my heart and is so unfortunate that we continue to need campaigns such as this. Sad that impaired driving isn’t a thing of the past. Despite federal and provincial/territorial laws and penalties, police enforcement and awareness efforts, and despite the obvious risk of crash, death and injury, people are still getting behind the wheel impaired. On average, every single day, 4 Canadians die and 174 are injured in impairment-related crashes. That’s almost 1,500 deaths and over 63,000 injured every year. Impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death in Canada.

It’s unacceptable that this year tens of thousands additional family members and friends will have to cope with the loss of a loved one or with a serious injury, all because someone chose to drive impaired. Impaired driving is not an ‘accident’ – someone makes a decision to get behind the wheel impaired. It’s 100% preventable.

So….this holiday season:

  • Plan ahead for your holiday events, and encourage your families and friends to do the same.
  • Take a cab, take public transit, arrange a designated driver or plan to stay the night.
  • And remember, if you see an impaired driver, call 911 and report that driver. The call may just save a life.

You can get your red ribbon by donating online at MADD Canada’s web site, visiting one of MADD Canada’s many sponsors’ outlets, or contacting your nearest MADD Canada Chapter or Community Leader.

Everyone in Canada (and around the world) has the power to stop this senseless and needless crime.

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Did you know about the Project Red Ribbon campaign? Will you wear your red ribbons with pride? How else do you publically display your commitment to drive sober? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on the Web.

Text MADD to 45678 to donate $5 today. Report impaired drivers – CALL 911.

More blog deliciousness here:

Stick people get animated for MADD Canada

I’m sure you’ve seen them; the stick families. The little decal representations of family members, pets, hobbies etc on display on the rear window of vehicles as a symbol of the vehicle’s precious cargo. It’s hugely popular here.

I think they are adorable! I’d love to have a little stick decal of Hubby, the Dude and TESS!!

One MADD Canada chapter, MADD Edmonton & Area, is tapping into the stick family decal phenomenon to drive the message of impaired driving home. They’ve developed the Stick Family Campaign; animated decal stick figure family illustrating what happens after a tragic car crash has occurred. Like last week’s post with Simple Plan’s video, this campaign shifts the focus away from impaired drivers and shines a light on the families who are affected by the carelessness of impaired driving.

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I get goose bumps every time I watch it. So simple yet so powerful.

I love how this campaign is designed to make us think critically about a serious situation because, as the commercial shows and we all know, the decision to drive impaired has long and devastating effects.

The Stick Family Campaign also produced coordinating print material and impaired driving awareness decals.

However, I haven’t been able to track down where a person can buy these decals specifically although I believe you can get window decals custom-made at local print/design shops. Hmmmm…something to consider….

What do you think of using a popular fad like the stick family decals to relay an important message? Do you have stick family decals on your vehicles? Would you have some custom-made in honor of a loved one or to relay socially responsible messaging that’s close to your heart? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on the Web.

Text MADD to 45678 to donate $5 today. Report impaired drivers – CALL 911.

More blog deliciousness here:

Music video showcases the violent ripple effect of impaired driving

I was surfing YouTube today and came across Simple Plan’s music video for their “Untitled (How Could This Happen to Me?)” song. I’ve heard the song a million times but not being a music video buff, had never seen the video or, to be honest, really paid deep attention to the lyrics and the story.

Until today.

At first I thought it was someone’s compilation put together to the music. Then I realized that no, the song actually tells the story of a car accident on a rainy night. A drunk driver crashes head-on into a car driven by a young girl, who dies. The drunk driver survives, uninjured. The story, told through the lyrics and powerful music, brought me to tears.

I was blow away by how the band incorporated the impact on all the unseen victims. When the cars collide, people in everyday activities are violently thrown into walls and through windows. In this way, the video truly captured the intense, devastating and violent ripple effect that drunk driving has beyond the people in the vehicles.

To quote Simple Plan’s description, “When an accident happens, there are more victims than people think, and many lives are changed forever…Parents, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, grandparents…everybody feels the impact.Source: Wikipedia 

So very true Simple Plan. Thank you for your contribution to creating awareness.

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If for some reason the video doesn’t play, you can catch it here.

Have you experienced the ripple effect of impaired driving or someone else’s poor choices and decisions? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my step-son’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

More blog deliciousness here:

Recover lost items easily and support MADD Canada

I don’t know how many times I’ve done it. I don’t know how many times hubby, my Mom or friends have done it. You’ve likely done it yourself a time or two. You know…lost your keys, wallet, or cell phone. One time hubby and I found someone’s iPhone 4 on the ground outside a retail store. Happens all the time; you get into a conversation and before you know it, you’ve walk away from a table and left your phone behind and BAM…it’s gone. Sucks!

Well have I got the solution for you!

MADD Canada has teamed up with ReturnMoi Lost & Found to offer a way to recover these items easily and quickly with the MADD Canada Lost & Found Recovery Tags. How uberlicious is that?!

(www.returnmoi.com/maddcanada/)

These little tags can be attached to your cell phones, wallets, keys, laptops, sports gear – just about any portable item you can think of. When you receive your tag, you go to the company’s website and register your information (and can offer a reward for returned items if you so choose). If the item is ever lost, the tag gives the person who found it an easy way to get it back to you. All they do is call the 1 800 number or visit the website on the tag, punch in the ID number to reported it found and then ReturnMoi arranges to have the item returned to you, free of charge.

Shut the FRONT DOOR?!

Nope…it’s true!! And this little treasure isn’t open to just the Canadians; ReturnMoi is international so whether you live in Canada, the US or the UK, you can get yourself MADD Canada Lost & Found Recovery Tags and protect your precious portables.

I know what you are wondering; there’s gotta be a cost.

Yes.

For $10 a tag, you get LIFETIME coverage and 50% of all the sales of MADD Canada Recovery Tags is donated to MADD Canada. So in essence, you pay $5 for a MADD Canada recovery tag with lifetime coverage and make a $5 donation to MADD Canada. Does it get any better?!? I don’t think so…

Not to mention, the super cute MADD Canada Lost & Found Recovery Tags are branded with the MADD Canada logo and the Campaign 911 message so not only would you be safe guarding your portables AND making a donation to MADD Canada, you’d also be visibly promoting MADD Canada’s message to drive sober to all who see it (these people are freaking branding ninja masters…love it!).

Oh…and as a special offer right now, ReturnMoi will supply a second tag (same as one purchased) at no cost.

MADD Canada Recovery Tags can be ordered at: www.returnmoi.com/maddcanada.

ReturnMoi, founded in 2007, is one of the world’s largest lost and found companies. They have an impressive recovery rate of over 80% and have produced over 1,500,000 recovery tags protecting customers’ valuables from all over the world.

Here’s a little information video:

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I have a tag on my car keys and on the back of my Blackberry as does hubby. Now to order a couple more for the laptops and the camera!

Ever lost a set of keys, wallet, or something else super valuable? What would you have done to get it back? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

More blog deliciousness here:

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