Come walk or join in the 5K run at the annual Hero Campaign Walk and Run this Sunday, October 21 on the Ocean City Boardwalk and help raise funds and awareness to promote safe and sober driving. I am honored to do the warm up and participate in the walk each year.  Find out more or register for The Hero Walk and 5K Run.

The Origin of The John R. Elliott Hero Campaign for Designated Drivers...

My perspective...

My son wast three days old. It was my first morning home from the hospital and I was overwhelmed with the joy and excitement of having my first baby. I was holding him in my arms, when I opened the newspaper and learned the tragic news about John R. Elliott, son of my colleague and friend, Bill Elliott. My knees buckled. I felt sick. I coudn't help but think of the Elliotts bringing their newborn son home some 22 years earlier and how they must have been just as happy as I was with my new baby.  They watched him grow and loved him each day of his life. Bill was so proud of John's graduation from the Naval Academy, and the bright future ahead of him. Then suddenly, that was gone.

I remember Bill vowing to work with "every fiber" of his being to make sure that this tragedy did not happen to another family.  Since then, the Elliotts have worked tirelessly to make the Hero Campaign for Designated Drivers the tremendous organization it is today.

Here is the story of how it began from The Hero Campaign website...

Early on the morning of July 22, 2000, John Elliott was on his way home to New Jersey from Annapolis, Maryland for his mother’s birthday when he was killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. The other driver had been arrested earlier in the evening on DUI charges and was then released to a friend. This friend allowed the intoxicated driver to get back behind the wheel of his SUV.

He resumed driving, struck John’s car, and killed them both. John had just recently graduated with merit from the Naval Academy with a B.S. in Systems Engineering and was named the Outstanding HERO (Human Education Resource Officer) of his class for his service to his fellow midshipmen. As a HERO, John was a peer counselor and advocate for his classmates, helping them with academic and personal problems.

In memory of their son John, the Elliott family established the John R. Elliott Foundation and the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers® in October 2000.