MADD Waterloo Region
Jim and Sharon-Lee Wideman were cofounders with Jack and Carol Wilson, who each lost a son named Scott, in two separate hay ride tragedies September 1984 and April 1985, involving impaired drivers.
The compassion and support of the Guelph OPP and Wellington Crown Attorneys during a five year ordeal in the courts were a key factor in giving the Widemans the confidence that ordinary citizens could walk alongside professionals in a community cause and experience cooperation. After numerous telephone calls of invitation to people in Waterloo and Wellington areas, the inaugural meetings of P.R.I.D.E. (People to Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) was held at Bingeman Park Lodge with a combination of media, police, politicians, health care workers and concerned citizens, including several victims of impaired driving crashes. John Bates and Helen Callum, founders of P.R.I.D.E. Toronto Chapter were guest speakers and motivated those present to participate in a worthy cause. Most of the board was established that evening and the rest shortly after.
In 1993, P.R.I.D.E. (an Ontario registered charity, was changed to MADD Waterloo Region Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, under the umbrella of the newly established MADD Canada. As a recognized national organization, there was now the foundation to lobby for changes in federal legislation. Jim Wideman was President of the Waterloo Chapter until 1995 when he accepted the position of the first Executive Director of MADD Canada. During the next two and a half years, rapid growth developed, bringing the number of chapters across Canada from 13 to 29, and establishing solid financial foundation under Jim’s administrative skills.
The Wellington Chapter branded on their own in 1995 with several directors from that area leaving the Waterloo board, including long time member Lynn Fisher who became President and Ervin Musselman, founding board member and court monitoring director. Guelph OPP and Guelph Police Services followed and police in other districts also became involved in the vast area of Wellington County.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada) is a charitable, grassroots organization that is committed to stopping impaired driving and supporting the victims of this violent crime.
Each and every year, thousands of Canadians are killed or injured in impaired driving crashes. Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is a terrible crime that touches all our lives. It is an irresponsible, dangerous and intolerable act. MADD Canada strives to offers support services to victims/survivors, heighten awareness about the dangers of alcohol and/or drug-impaired driving, and to save lives and prevent injuries on our roads.
At the heart of MADD Canada are our volunteers; they include not only mothers, but fathers, friends, business professionals, experts in the anti-impaired driving field and concerned citizens who want to make a difference in the fight against impaired driving.
If you need help, or would like to join MADD Canada’s efforts, call our toll free line at 1-800-665-6233.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada) is a Registered Canadian Charitable Organization (Reg. No. 13907 2060 RR0001) which is volunteer-driven. The organization has a National Board of Directors representing membership from all regions of Canada. MADD Canada’s National Office is located in Oakville, Ontario. The National Office can be reached at: 1-800-665-6233 (toll free).