“Rides for Life” to Raise Money and Awareness of Drunk Driving

August 31, 2005

The University of Rochester Medical Center’s Strong Regional Trauma Center is partnering with Roclife.org and Rochester Institute of Technology’s Sport/Modified Car Club to sponsor “Rides for Life,” a car show to benefit Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Teens can put their cars or motorcycles on display for the afternoon of September 24 from 4:30-9 p.m. at Rochester Institute of Technology, Lots G and H, located at the northwest corner of the campus, off Jefferson Road.

Julius Cheng, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Kessler Family Burn/Trauma Intensive Care Unit at Strong Memorial Hospital, is organizing the event, shifting his focus beyond the trauma ward to prevention on the streets. A car enthusiast himself, Cheng came up with the idea of a car show to build awareness of drinking and driving among young adults.

“Research continues to show that young drivers between 15 and 20 years old are more often involved in alcohol-related crashes than any other comparable age group,” Cheng said. “We hope that by holding this event, at which the car is the focal point, we can reinforce that importance of not drinking and driving.” 

“Drunk driving crashes are one of the most preventable crimes because it comes down to one simple task: making a choice,” Tracey Holbrook, chief administrator of MADD’s Tri-County chapter, said, “If you make the choice not to drink and drive, not only are you keeping yourself safe but you are preventing a tragedy that can devastate countless others.”

Roclife.org is a website for local car enthusiasts, frequented by many young adults. Young car enthusiasts will be encouraged to display their “fast and furious” vehicles, with prizes available in several different categories.  In addition, several local car dealers will participate in the event, showcasing their latest models.

“I’m hopeful that this event will draw a young crowd, especially those who are already investing their own money to showcase their car on the streets where they live,” says Cheng.

Each car will be asked for a $5 donation to sit on display, while there is a requested donation of $1 of every visitor. All proceeds will benefit MADD. For more information, call (585) 275-3376, or access www.ridesforlife.org.

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Germaine Reinhardt
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