Victims of drunk driving, alcoholism and addiction will share their life changing stories Wednesday, June 16, at a Victim Impact Panel hosted by the Becker County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

The panels are designed to allow victims to share their stories involving loss and provide a healing opportunity by talking about the impact the events on their lives. Panelists also hope that someone who hears their stories in the audience will reach out for help if they are battling some of the same problems before it's too late.

Speakers will share their own intimate, detailed accounts of how they experienced lifechanging events due to alcoholism, or addiction.

Tara Griess, Becker County MADD Victim Impact Panel coordinator, graduated from the county's DWI court program in February and has shared her story at multiple panel events in the region.

In March, Griess, and three other panelists, shared their stories with about 35 attendees on St. Patrick's Day.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

After the event in March, Stefanie Hurt, a panelist, said: "Every time I speak, I'm essentially opening up a scar and I'm dumping salt in it, every time. But then, there's just the thought that maybe, just maybe, I saved one person's life tonight, and all I ask is for one person every night, and that one family, doesn't have to go through what I've been through; so that's the reason why I do it.

Some of the attendees will be ordered to attend the panel as part of an agreement with the Becker County DWI court, but, event organizers emphasize that panelists will "not blame, or judge, the audience," and are simply sharing their personal experiences in hope of inspiring others.

The event begins promptly at 6 p.m. June 16 at the Holiday Inn Lakefront in Detroit Lakes. Attendees are encouraged to be on time to limit disruptions while the speakers present and donate to the program costs, if possible.