Teeing off to end impaired driving

Kerry Swallow poses with a golf classic poster outside the Daily herald office on July 10. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

A local man is turning his lifelong passion into a province-wide fundraising initiative.

On July 22, Kachur’s Golf Club will host the inaugural Knights of Columbus/MADD Annual Golf Classic. The event was put together in part by Kerry Swallow, who has a personal connection to the tragedy of lives lost due to impaired driving.

“I was in the RCMP for 27 and a half years. One of my passions is to take and keep impaired drivers off of the road,” the event co-chair said.

“Mainly because I have seen very serious accidents. It’s a life-changing experience to have someone’s last blood draining through your hands while they’re making a dying wish to you. It’s a real passion of mine to make sure this doesn’t happen to any more families.”

While Swallow has seen the devastating effects of impaired driving first-hand, he’s also seen how many other people are affected by it.

He recounted a story of a presentation he gave for about 200 people on the topic of impaired driving.

“My first question was ‘how many of you have had a family member either injured or killed by an impaired driver?’ And I was stunned. Twenty-eight people stood up. The next question I asked was ‘how many of you had a friend or colleague injured or killed by an impaired driver?’ Another 25 or 30 stood up. And then I asked the final question: ‘How many of you have had a community member injured or killed by an impaired driver?’ The rest of the 200 stood up,” he recalled.

“It’s mind-blowing to imagine that there’s still an acceptance out there for impaired driving. There should not be an acceptance for it.”

For more on this story, please see the July 11 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald