MADD fundraiser evokes range of emotions, memories
Truro Daily News
June 18, 2012
SHUBENACADIE - Monday was a bittersweet day for Margaret Miller.
That's how it always is when the annual fundraising golf tournament in honour of her son Bruce rolls around.
Standing on the land where Bruce grew up, which is now The Links at Penn Hills, her thoughts naturally go back to watching him outside with his horses and dogs, driving a tractor and working the earth.
"So many things like that and it's hard," she said. "I can still see him as a teenager on the tractors on these fields or floating on the pond on a little raft or with his horses headed next door to the riding ring."
She also thinks of the date - May 16, 2004 - when she learned her son, then a 26-year-old Springhill police officer, had been hit head on by a drunk driver near Montague, P.E.I. He later died in hospital in Moncton. It's not a moment she enjoys remembering, but she does countless times each day to help teach others of the consequences of driving while impaired.
"I try to share the experiences of that day with students all over the province," she said. "I want them to know what it felt like to lose somebody you love so much, imagine themselves in that role and imagine themselves in the role of the drunk driver. How do you deal with your community after you've killed somebody driving drunk?"
But as much as she's reminded about the pain Bruce's death has brought into her life, Miller is also given examples of the positives. Like how 155 golfers on 39 teams took part Monday in the seventh annual edition of the event to raise money for the Cobequid Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD). The event raised $19,375 and more than $110,000 since its inception.
"You just feel that sense of support in the group and that's wonderful," Miller said. "How can you do anything better than this? For me, it's like planning his wedding every year, planning a special event just for him and it means a lot."
Aside from playing an 18-hole round, golfers had a chance to wear fatal-vision goggles, which are designed to simulate the effects of being impaired, and try to make putts on the practice green.
The golfers gathered for a barbecue where prizes and awards are given out and several people speak including Bruce's father Robert, who traditionally tells a story about Bruce.
"Some little funny story to share a bit of his personality with everybody," Miller said. "And that way the golfers get to know Bruce, so he's not just the face on the poster, he's a living, breathing person we're remembering."