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Country 27/05/2006

Miss America and Country Star Brad Paisley Announce MADD's Strides for Change Celebrity Virtual Walk Challenge

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DALLAS, TX (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) - Miss America 2006 Jennifer Berry and award- winning country artist Brad Paisley have set the stage for Mothers Against Drunk Driving's (MADD) Strides for Change Celebrity Virtual WalkTeam challenge. Miss America recently joined Paisley at his Santa Barbara, Calif., concert to kick off the campaign in support of MADD.

Dubbed the Walk of Fame, virtual teams have been formed by Berry, Paisley, country star Naomi Judd, and actor and TV personality Kelly Ripa. Web-based fans can get in step and support their favorite celebrity and a life-saving cause at the same time by joining a celebrity team online at https://www.stridesforchange.org

Recounting the loss of a close friend in a drunk driving crash, Miss Berry said, "The fact remains that drunk driving is 100 percent preventable, yet it continues as a plague of human behavior that we as a society continue to tolerate." Nearly 17,000 people are killed and a half a million others are injured annually in alcohol-related traffic crashes.

Miss Berry promoted the celebrity challenge in Nashville, which will host its first ever Strides for Change 5K walk-aimed at raising awareness and money to save lives and prevent injuries due to drunk driving and underage drinking- on Saturday, June 24 at Centennial Park. Nissan North America, Inc., national presenting sponsor of Strides for Change, is helping MADD put on walks in 22 cities nationwide.

A portion of the proceeds raised by the celebrity teams will go back to the MADD state office of their choice. Judd, a long time supporter of MADD, and Paisley, whose uncle was killed to a drunk driver, chose MADD Tennessee. Berry, who has been a five-year volunteer for her home state chose MADD Oklahoma, and Ripa is dividing her proceeds between New York where she lives and New Jersey where her sister, who survived a drunk driving crash, resides. The celebrity virtual walk team challenge runs through September.

There are several ways the public can support MADD's Strides for Change walks: (1) Support a celebrity virtual walker by joining their virtual team online; (2) If you live in a host city, you can register to walk or form a team; (3) If you are unable to make the walk, you can sign up to raise money as a virtual walker, anywhere and anytime; or (4) Give a one-time donation to the walks. Please visit the Strides for Change Web site at https://www.stridesforchange.org to register, donate or get more information.

MADD's mission is to fight drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. More than 300,000 lives have been saved since MADD's founding in 1980. For more information, visit https://www.madd.org .

The Miss America Organization is one of the nation's leading achievement programs and the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Last year, the Miss America Organization and its state and local organizations made available more than $45 million in cash and scholarship assistance. For more information, go to https://www.missamerica.org






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