Wiarton Echo
February 28, 2020

Those who have lost loved ones to impaired driving will soon have a dedicated space in Spruce Grove.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada announced Feb. 12 that they are building a monument to those who have died as a result of impaired driving across Alberta in the community.

It will be built on the grounds of the Parkland RCMP detachment, unveiled in September and have the names of the dead etched into stone at the site.

The City of Spruce Grove and the Town of Stony Plain teamed up to help develop the area and MADD Canada representative Gillian Phillips said they hope it works as a preventative tool, too.

“We are hoping that the more news that gets out there about it, the more people see it, they will realize the tragic toll that impaired driving takes,” Phillips said. “Everyone can be included, even if it was a long time ago.”

To get on to the memorial, those who have lost a loved one in an impaired driving crash where there was an official impaired charge have to reach Phillips through her MADD Canada contact information. There is space for 160 names on the monument as it will initially stand, but Phillips and team are likely to grow it.

“The location is secure and we will be adding on to the monument as we go along,” Phillips said. “It does not cost anything for families, is covered by MADD entirely and we will add them in a yearly ceremony too.”

Edmonton Granite Memorials Ltd. will be handling the design of the piece, which will be made of heavy granite, incorporate a number of Alberta visuals like the Rockies and is slated to cost more than $10,000. Company memorial consultant Rod Gargus said they hope it serves as a positive tribute for families in tough times.

“We are happy that we could work with MADD,” he said. “People are in the worst moments of their lives when something like this happens. Whatever we can do to try to help people is what matters most for us.”

Lynda McCullough lost her daughter Jennifer Leigh in 2003. For her, this work keeps her memory alive.

“We never want our child’s name or memory to be forgotten,” McCullough said in a press release on the project. “This monument will be such a beautiful tribute to her and all of [those who have] lost their lives.”

If you or someone you know has been a victim of an impaired driving crash, visit madd.ca