Jesuit High School's SADD club – Students Against Destructive Decisions – recently joined many community members, including local law enforcement, at a candlelight vigil in memory of those killed locally in DUI-related crashes.
Thirteen members of SADD, along with club moderator Lauren Maguire, attended the 34th annual MADD Candlelight Vigil at First Baptist Church in Temple Terrace on Dec. 6, where they read the names of victims whose families could not attend the vigil so they would still be honored.
For several years, Jesuit's chapter of SADD has supported the vigil, which is sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The event provided data about the dangers of driving while impaired. In its most recent report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that over six years in Florida more than 79,000 DUI-related crashes have occurred, injuring tens of thousands and killing 2,200 people.
At the Dec. 6 event, West Central Florida Victims and Survivors were joined by SADD club members from Jesuit and Hillsborough High School to honor the memories of 70 victims by lighting a candle in recognition of each. Dozens of law enforcement officers also were present, illuminating their motorcycles and cars to create a moving backdrop for the Walk of Memories.
Linda Unfried, the founder of the West Central Florida MADD Chapter, as well as several others impacted by DUI-related crashes, shared stories of their losses to help survivors with their grief and offer comfort to those attending this ceremony.
The 13 SADD Club members who attended the event were: club co-presidents William Rodriguez ’19 and Max White ’19, Andrew Sumner ’19, Christopher Yount ’19, James Paradise ’20, Sebastian Solano ’20, Jason Heiman ’21, Chris Konefal ’21, Joseph Lopez ’21, Nick Rodriguez ’21, Michael Rooth ’21, Javier Alvarez ’22, and Ryan Finster ’22.