FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT: Mark Robinson, (310) 477-7200

Chapter Seeks Volunteers and Financial Resources to Achieve Organization's Mission

(LOS ANGELES - January 3, 1996) Mothers Against Drunk Driving today renewed its commitment to serving crash victims and continuing public awareness efforts to combat drunk driving in the Los Angeles area. The pledge comes in the wake of funding shortages for the chapter which resulted in the layoff of several staff members.

"MADD, Los Angeles County is not closed," emphasized Mark Robinson, chapter president. "We regret that funding is down, but MADD is a volunteer-driven organization and we will be relying on volunteer efforts of our chapter and the good will of Los Angeles county residents to help us meet the needs of the community," he explained. "Drunk driving and underage drinking continue to plague our society. It is estimated that two out of every five people in this country will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some time in their lives, unless we act now," Robinson pointed out. Robinson is one of seven volunteer members of the chapter Board of Directors.

Robinson said the chapter, like other businesses, has faced financial difficulties since the Northridge earthquake. Two office spaces, one in North Hollywood, and another near LAX, were donated to MADD following the quake which destroyed the previous Van Nuys location. Robinson said both offices will remain open, but only the LAX office will be staffed with employees. Volunteers will operate the North Hollywood location. He pointed out that many of the nearly 400 chapters throughout the country are operated exclusively with volunteers.

"We're asking anyone that can contribute time or money to MADD to call us," said Robinson. "In the meantime, we will be looking to creative ways to disseminate our message to prevent further drunk driving tragedies while assisting those who have already been victimized by this violent crime."

Robinson added that two new programs were recently implemented to help recruit volunteers and funds for the organization. The Project MADD Ribbon program, which ran during November and December, asked motorists to tie a MADD red ribbon to a visible location on their vehicles as a reminder not to drink and drive. The ribbon was accompanied by a donation envelope so MADD supporters could contribute financially to MADD or indicate their willingness to volunteer for the organization. Robinson said it's not too late for residents to mail back the envelopes they may have picked up at participating businesses or received through Dominos pizza delivery boxes during the holidays.

Another new program features "MADD Munchies" as part of the nationally marketed food products, "Snacks to Go." Funds raised from this promotion will benefit the MADD, Los Angeles County chapter, as well as other chapters throughout the country.

MADD's mission is to stop drunk driving and to support the victims of this violent crime. Founded in California in 1980, MADD now has more than 500 chapters and community action teams throughout the country. For more information on how to get involved with the MADD, Los Angeles County Chapter, call (818) 509-2905.

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