The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that between 2003 and 2013 Ohio had 3,637 deaths from drunk driving. One in three accidents in the US are alcohol related. Despite these statistics, 1.9 percent of people in the nation and 2.2 percent of people in Ohio report driving after having too much to drink.
Stacy Fitzgerald lost her daughter, and now she is working to save other area teens.
Fitzgerald’s daughter Paige Evans was preparing to graduate from East High School before she lost her life on March 28, 2015.
“I lost my daughter a little over two years ago in an accident. It was a drinking and driving accident,” Fitzgerald stated. “She was a good kid. She just made a stupid mistake like all of us do.”
Evans wanted to be a teacher. In keeping with her passion for education and to spread awareness about drinking and driving, Fitzgerald stated raising money in her daughter’s name, money that goes into the education of other East students.
“I started last year with our first official fundraiser for drinking and driving awareness,” Fitzgerald explained.
She added that to few people understand the severity of such behavior.
Each year, she now holds a large fundraiser near the anniversary of her daughter’s death. Last year’s proceeds provided $500 scholarships for four East students.
“We hope to expand it to other school districts in the future, but this is only our second year,” Fitzgerald added.
This year’s event was held Saturday in Sciotoville. It included live music, an auction, a silent auction, vendors, food, inflatables, games and even something called chicken poop bingo.
“We had plenty of fun things to do, a little of everything,” the mother said.
Throughout the day, crowds came in dozens.
Fitzgerald had not yet tallied the proceeds, but hoped to help even more students than last year.
Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1930.