New England Region MADD Times Newsletter December 2022




As 2022 draws to a close, and with the New Year just over the horizon, we reflect on the challenges we faced and the resulting successes we achieved as difficult and unprecedented times continued to negatively impact MADD New England. The achieved level of success was realized through perseverance, dedication, proper planning, and teamwork. We thank, first and foremost, our volunteers, who give so graciously of their time, creativity, and fortitude. Our jobs are made so much easier by those who use their free time to assist MADD throughout the New England Region, in our fight to end drunk driving and the senseless loss of innocent lives. We are most proud of our donors, (corporate, foundation, individuals) who stayed with us throughout and provided the financial resources, as they have done in the past, which enabled our staff to sustain our services/programs for victims, families, schools, and community groups. As MADD entered its 42nd year, we found ourselves still navigating the unchartered waters of a worldwide pandemic. As we ushered in 2022, there was a sense of hope that MADD could and would rebound from a difficult two+ years by welcoming back hundreds of participants at our in person public fundraising events. While our fundraising improved this year from 2021, we still have a long way to go! MADD New England is confident that we will not only fully recover, but we will blaze a new road to recovery and beyond. At this time last year, I reported on some very exciting news, a bi-partisan Congress approved a bill that mandated that all new cars soon be equipped, with the technology to detect impaired driving. The Insurance Industry believes this technology will save 9,400 lives each year. This was a huge victory for us as a society, and for MADD as an organization, but there is still much work to be done. We continue to look forward to the day when there will be No More Victims. During the last two years of “Covid” where many people spent more time at home than in a typical year, whether working or not, there were billions less miles driven on our roadways across America, yet we saw a 9% increase in the number of deaths attributed to impaired driving in 2020, an even larger increase 2021, and an additional increase in 2022 through the first six months. So, as we move into 2023, our work remains as we continue to fight to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes, and to prevent underage drinking. We can’t do this alone – we need your continued support, strength, and resources. Only Together Will We Save Lives! On behalf of MADD New England’s dedicated, outstanding, tireless staff, and our State Advisory Boards, I wish you and your loved ones a Happy, Healthy, and Safe, Holiday Season and a most Prosperous New Year!

Happy Holidays!

Bob Garguilo Regional Executive Director – New England

MADD Connecticut Presenting Sponsor:

Check out how students at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire utilized MADD resources to work towards our mission of #NoMoreVictims ! The college program “Get Home Safe” wanted resources to educate students over 21 on the dangers of driving impaired to keep their campus and it’s students safe. If you are in need of resources for your school or college let us know!!

MADD New England is proud to welcome our new Rhode Island Staff!!!

Program Director Wesley Pennington

Victim Service Specialist Jennifer O'Neil

Please welcome Jennifer O’Neil, Victim Services Specialist with MADD Rhode Island. As a child, she experienced the devastating aftermath of an impaired driving crash outside of her home. From that day forward, Jenn has had a passion for impaired driving prevention. As an adolescent she participated in MADD RI’s youth programming. She later founded a UMADD chapter at Sacred Heart University. From 2015-2017 Jenn worked at MADD RI on an underage drinking prevention grant. During her time at MADD RI, she most enjoyed the opportunity to connect with and serve victims and their families through MADD RI’s victim adoption program. Jenn is overjoyed to return to MADD, and it truly honored to be part of the team again. In her free time, Jenn enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, two daughters, and three dogs.

Wesley Pennington grew up in Cranston, Rhode Island in a family of five boys, in which he is the youngest and one girl. He graduated from Cranston High School East and went on to study sociology at Western Connecticut State University. Wesley Pennington then became a member of the United States Army. As a member of the Army, Wesley served a tour in Korea. Upon coming back from Korea, he was assigned to the prestigious 82nd Airborne Division. During his time with the 82nd, he was one of the first groups sent to Operation Desert Storm. On completion of his military commitment he returned to Rhode Island where he worked for the West Warwick Police Department. After 2 1/2 years, he left there and went to work with the Rhode Island State Police. He has been employed with the State Police for the last 28 years and has received 3 live saving awards & a national public service award. Wesley is also a head high school football coach for the town of West Warwick, RI. He was awarded 2019 Football Coach of the Year Award. He is also an ordained Pastor. His first book “Through the Smoker” is available on Amazon. Wesley is married to his wife Marissa and has two daughters, Ashley and Eliana.

On Friday, October 7th MADD Rhode Island held their annual Awards Recognition Breakfast to honor those exemplary individuals and organizations going above and beyond to combat impaired driving. Over 250 people in attendance came to bear witness and to acknowledge the collective efforts of law enforcement, volunteers, prevention groups, education and prosecutorial champions. Lifetime Achievement Awards for Exemplary Service and Commitment recognized Colonel Edmond Culhand, Superintendent, Rhode Island State Police, Colonel Stephen McCartney, Chief, Warwick Police Department and Jay Sullivan, Attorney Generals Office.

MADD New England is grateful for all of the continued support it receives throughout the year. Without our sponsors, community partners, victims and survivors, we could not continue the fight against impaired driving in hopes of creating a future of No More Victims.

New England Regional Mission Partners

The Shibley Family

Walk Like MADD Rhode Island October 15, 2022

Lifesaving Sponsors Automated Business Solutions Mohegan Sun Walmart

Advocating Sponsors Coastal 1 Joe’s Snack Shack

Contributing Sponsors Washington Trust Neighborhood Health Plan Creative Kreations

Supporting Sponsors Anchor Insulation East Providence Prevention Coalition

Friends of MADD Quality Fruitland East Bay Printing

Mission Partners Matthew & Carol Shedd UKG

Presenting Sponsors Arbella Insurance Foundation Jason Stone Injury Lawyers

Road Safety Sponsors Brennan’s Smoke Shop

Advocacy Sponsors Yewande Ogunkoya Leon Rosenberg

Lifesaver Sponsors Patricia Kanzinger William & Geneva Thorndike

Other Ways to Donate to MADD Massachusetts

Do you have old clothing and household items that you would like to get rid of? Donate them for a good cause through Donation Centers of New England! They will send a truck directly to your house. Log on to to schedule your donation pickup today. Have you ever thought about installing solar? For every solar consultation, Trinity Solar will donate $100 to MADD and for every installation, MADD will receive $1,000! Log on to: to learn more.

MADD’s Power of Me Elementary Program is a classroom-or auditorium-based alcohol use prevention and vehicle safety presentation for elementary school students in grades 4-5 (ages 8-11). The presentation aims to prevent underage drinking and reduce alcohol-related injuries and death among children and youth due to underage alcohol use and riding in vehicles with impaired drivers. This 30-minute presentation, taught by a trained and certified MADD Facilitator, contains developmentally age- appropriate content with several engaging activities throughout to promote students' ownership of the information and to reinforce the skills taught during the presentation. Research shows that parental influence is the most important factor in helping keep teens safe. Therefore, MADD created its Power of Parents program with research-based parent handbooks for parents of middle and high school, to equip them to have these life-saving conversations with their kids about alcohol. A special parent resource designed to coincide with the Power of Me presentation is included with the program in effort to educate parents and reinforce the key messages at home. This resource is a wonderful introduction to the Power of Parents Middle School and High School Handbooks that are also available free of charge.

Program Areas

Power of Me consists of a presentation based on MADD’s evaluated, evidence based Protecting You/Protecting Me (PY/PM) program, with science- and health based lessons, that correlate with educational achievement objectives that teach children about:

The brain- how it continues to develop throughout childhood and adolescence, what alcohol does to the developing brain, and why it is important for children to protect their brains.

Vehicle safety- particularly what children can do to protect themselves if they have to ride with someone who is impaired.

Life skills- including decision-making, resistance strategies, and communication.

If your school is interested in the Power of Me presentation, contact Brooke at


MADD New England/ Connecticut 339 Hemingway Ave. East Haven, CT 06512 203-764-2566

MADD Rhode Island P.O. Box 3468 Pawtucket, RI 02861

MADD Massachusetts P.O. Box 141 Danvers, MA 01923 781-328-0002

@MADDConnecticut @MADDRhodeIsland @MADDMassachusetts

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