Each year hundreds of lives are taken due to alcohol related accidents. In 2008, there were 409 alcohol impaired motor vehicular fatalities recorded in New York, 341 of which had a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher. However, each year this number is decreasing due to an extraordinary amount of hard work by national organizations such as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and local organizations such as the Netter’s Fund. The Netter’s Fund was established by a friend of mine, Mark Balistreri, when his wife Annette “Netters” Nichols Balistreri was tragically taken by a drunk driver in 2005.
The Netter’s Fund is a not-for-profit fund that aids in the education and prevention of drunk driving. Through-out the year the Netter’s Fund and their 22 local sponsors offer the Safe Ride Program. The safe ride program offers free rides to anyone who may have had a very enjoyable evening and has no business getting behind the wheel. The decal shown to the right is on display at each of the following participating restaurants/bars: The Ale House, All Troy Athletic Club, The Black Bear Inn, Brunswick Fire Company #1, Daisy Bakers, The Fraternal Order of Eagles of Lansingburgh, The Franklin Plaza, Holmes & Watson, The Irish Mist, MJ’s on the Avenue, O’Leary’s Tavern, The Park Pub, Positively 4th Street, The Red Front, Ryan’s Wake, The Terminal Tavern, Two Brothers Restaurant, Uncle Sam Lanes, and The Veteran’s Club of Lansingburgh. Between each of these sponsors the Netter’s Fund is averaging 1 ride per day. These are outstanding results! That’s at least 365 local and responsible people who opted to take the risk out of their hands. For more information on the Safe Ride Program click here.
As a not-for-profit organization the Netter’s Fund relies on donations from the community in addition to their Safe Ride sponsors to continue offering their programs. On Saturday, February 27 they will be conducting their 4th Annual Bowl-A-Thon fund-raiser at the Uncle Sam Lanes in downtown Troy. They are asking for teams of 4 people to pre-register ASAP to ensure you don't miss out. Currently, there are only 7 lanes remaining of the 26 available. Registration costs are $15 per person, again all the proceeds benefit the Netter’s Fund. Click Here for the Bowl-a-Thon flyer or click here is you’re interested in being a sponsor of this event. Even if you’re not a bowler you are welcome to stop and show your support for this outstanding organization.
At one point or another in our lives, drinking and driving will hit home, it may be a friend or family member that receives a DUI or by experiencing something as tragic as a death. No matter how you look at it, it becomes a life altering experience. This is one decision that each of us has complete control over. It may sound clique, but don’t become a statistic; please don’t drink and drive.
For more information on the Netters Fund visit their website www.netters.us.