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Hero Walk Will Have First Run in Ocean City

The University is taking a stand against drunk driving this year by joining The Hero Campaign and participating in its first annual “Hero Walk.” The event will be held at the Ocean City Boardwalk on Sunday, October 23.

According to the organization’s website, The Hero Campaign, which originated in 2001, is an organization that promotes always having a designated driver to help save lives across the country especially on college campuses.

The organization began after a drunk driver, who had been arrested and released for a DUI charge just hours before, tragically collided with

John Elliot, a naval academy graduate. The collision killed both Elliot and the driver and severely injured Elliot’s girlfriend.

Since then, Elliot’s family, including his father who is a Monmouth Alumnus, have dedicated their lives to ensuring that no one goes through the sadness and grief that they face every day from an accident that could have been avoided.

In remembrance of Elliot and the hopes that another tragedy like this could be avoided, New Jersey passed “John’s Law,” a law requiring police to impound DUI offender’s vehicles for 12 hours and issuing responsibility to those taking custody of these offenders.

To show support the office of substance awareness and the Hero Campaign, the University has established its own team for the Hero Walk. Students, faculty and staff will be walking and collecting donations to raise money for this important cause.

The Hero Campaign’s message, “Be a Hero, Be a Designated Driver,” speaks to a majority of this college campus, including faculty, because it is a situation and choice that most people are faced with at some time in their lives.

By showing support for this event, the University is demonstrating and raising awareness for just how important it is to make the right choice when it comes to driving drunk.

Tina Peraino, senior, will be taking part in the Hero Walk along with her family.

“I heard about the Hero Walk through family and friends that live near Ocean City and it seemed like such an important cause that my family and I decided to participate and raise money for the event,” Peraino said.

The University’s Hero Campaign will also be holding other important events throughout the year including its annual “Hero Day,” which will take place on October 20th. This will take place in the quad where students will get the chance to drive around golf carts while wearing “fatal vision goggles.”

Susan St. Germaine, the Substance Awareness Coordinator, explained the event is intended to show students just how difficult it is to try and drive while intoxicated.

Free stickers, bracelets and tattoos will be given out and there will be a hot dog cart and bake sale with proceeds going to the campaign. A raffle will also be held to win $5 cab vouchers so students can use them to get home safely after a night of drinking. St. Germaine also mentioned the Hero of the Year award.

“In the spring, we will ask the students to nominate a sober driver. The chosen student will be honored in a ceremony and have his/her face on billboards throughout New Jersey.”

To join in the Hero Walk, donate or become a member of The Hero Committee here at the University and be a part of all its hard work of raising awareness, please attend the next Hero Meeting at Java City on Wednesday, October 12 at 4:00 pm.