MADD Needs Your HelpThe Carroll County chapter of Mothers...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 31, 1993

MADD Needs Your Help

The Carroll County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is well into its second year of existence in Carroll County. Our office has been completely furnished with used furniture contributions from the United Way in Howard County, Alex. Brown & Sons, and Maryland National Bank (the only exception being the purchase of a used copier).

Eighty percent of our budget goes into public awareness -- the materials at the various booths, red ribbons, maintenance of a local office, support of the non-alcoholic after-prom parties for all Carroll County high schools, a college scholarship, and the distribution of MADD coloring books or mini-flyers to all elementary school children in Carroll County at the beginning of this school year. We offer support to the local schools in their anti-drug and alcohol message with supplies and monetary contributions to pay for such things as postage to mail newsletters. Our volunteers assist the State Police at sobriety checkpoints.

Twenty percent of our budget goes to offer emotional support to our local victims. The courts have the option of sentencing first-time offenders convicted of drinking and driving to hear a Victim Impact Panel. This panel is sponsored by MADD-Carroll County and consists of victims who have volunteered their time to explain how someone's decision to drink and drive has impacted the victim's life.

I serve on the panel and can attest that it is very moving and helps the offenders to understand that these are not just statistics. . . . Carroll County also supports an "800" telephone number for victims throughout the state of Maryland to call for support. Additionally, we must train our victim support volunteers, and attempt to do this through workshops sponsored through MADD nationally. The two Maryland state representatives for the MADD National Candlelight Vigil this year to remember victims of drunk driving crashes were both Carroll countians, Judy Lyons and Ralph Dennis.

We must have a lot of members and support to have achieved all of this, right?

There are well over 100,000 residents of Carroll County. Our individual membership stands at 55. We have one business membership -- Masonry Contractors, Inc. -- out of all of the businesses based in Carroll County.

While we were thrilled with our furniture donations, it was disheartening that only one of those businesses actually has offices in Carroll County. . . . I cannot believe that the people of Carroll County do not care.

To the Carroll business community, local charity support benefits your employees; to Carroll County residents, instead of purchasing that Lotto or Keno ticket this week, please give the money to the local charity of your choice. The odds are greater that someone you know will benefit and you will be amazed at how good it makes you feel. . . . Linda A. Collins

Westminster

The writer is treasurer of the Carroll County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Family Law That Protects Families

In reference to Paul Strekfus' letter of Jan. 15, I agree wholeheartedly with what he expressed.

A perfect example of an imperfect system is on the record with the recent Schaeffer divorce case heard here in Carroll County. The outcome speaks for itself.

When will there be constructive change in family law that would protect families? Never, unless more people like myself and my family become victimized, and choose not to be afraid and speak up.

Only then, with dedication and involvement from others willing to voice their concerns on the issues of family law to our elected officials will there be a chance of change.

What better time than now (with a new administration) to get involved with protecting family life, and doing something inherently good for our society and our children?

Kathleen M. Schaeffer

Westminster

Jacklighting

I would like to take issue with a news article (Dec. 29), entitled "3 Carroll men seized in jacklighting incidents." It incorrectly refers to the alleged perpetrators as "hunters" . . .

Although this misrepresentation may seem inconsequential, I feel it is an unwarranted attack on the thousands of law-abiding hunters in the state.

No true hunter would even consider such an action as jacklighting. The individuals involved in these incidents, if proven guilty, are nothing more than ruthless killers and should be punished as same.

Nicholas Fornaro

Ellicott City

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