Community raises $62,000 for MADD at 5k race

A participant in Saturday's 5k fundraiser for Mothers Against Drunk Driving waves a memorial sign at the start of the race.

Michael Benge attended the Walk like MADD 5k event Saturday because someone he loved couldn't.

"A 17-year-old driver with multiple previous DUIs hit us at 95 mph, killed my wife and severely injured me and my three daughters," he said.

Many like Benge at the Park at the River Walk Saturday wore T-shirts bearing the name and picture of a loved one killed by a drunk driver.

"The screams I can still hear in my head all the time," Benge said. "Something will kind of trigger it and I relive the wreck from start to finish."

But Saturday, the screams in the park were happy cheers as walkers and runners started and finished a 5k race that raised $62,000 for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

"The community has really stepped up and come out to support us and it just warms my heart," said Carla Pearson, a spokesperson for the local chapter of MADD.

Pearson said the money raised will stay local, funding awareness campaigns and keeping MADD staff in the courthouse, where they assist the families of drunk driving victims.

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