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Families of drunk driving victims raise awareness at Walk Like MADD 5K

"We do this in her memory," said Linda Beni, who lost her daughter in 2016.
Posted at 3:20 PM, May 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-11 15:20:58-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — On Saturday, around 450 runners came out for the Walk Like MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) 5K at Jet Blue Park. For some, it's more than just raising awareness surrounding the issue of drunk drivers getting behind the wheel.

"We do this in her memory," said Linda Beni, who lost her 21-year-old daughter Brittany in a drunk driving crash nearly eight years ago.

"It's been eight years since Cecil died, we think about him everyday," said Jessica Riner, who lost her husband.

The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration says 37 people die every day in the U.S. in a drunk driving crash.

Both women are turning their tragedies into awareness, too.

"Just education. It just needs to start when kids are really young," Riner explained. There's no reason now with Uber, Lyft and ride shares and phone a friend."

Education is coming from events like the 5K. As of Saturday afternoon, the organization raised close to $60,000, and donations are being accepted until June.

"It does get easier with time, but you just don't ever want to forget them," Riner said. "You just want to keep their memory alive."

You can donate here.