More than 400 students at Lukuchukai Community School got
an earful of MADD Tuesday from Vicki Shirley, the first lady of
the Navajo Nation.
As a representative
of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization, Shirley has visited
several elementary schools around the Navajo Nation reminding kids
the dangers of drinking and driving.
important thing is not to get involved with alcohol," Shirley
Joe Shirley Jr. joined his wife at Lukuchukai to talk about how
they coped with the loss of their daughter, Tona Vee Shirley-Paymella,
who was killed by a drunk driver the day after Thanksgiving in 2001.
The students also watched a video presentation which spotlights
the president's mission.
was so devastated that I didn't think I could go on," president
Shirley said in the video. "But after some time, I decided
I had to continue for my beautiful angel Tona. I just couldn't sit
back and let drunk drivers continue to shatter other families."
said MADD's goal is to educate what happens if you drink.
targeting underage drinking," she said.
Bahe, a 14-year old student at Lukuchukai said the first lady's
presentation was good and that she found it useful.
said 'stay away from drunk driving,'" Bahe said.
are scheduled for spring break next week and their principal, Herb
Harvey, said the presentations, one of few assemblies the school
allowed its 420 students to attend, was timely.
thought it was beneficial before the students go into their spring
break, it's a preventative type of service" Harvey said. "Ms.
Shirley is from here, and the students really identified with her....it
was like a homecoming."
Shirley signed a proclamation with the nationally-known MADD in
February 2003 to stop drunk driving and prevent underage drinking.
Shirley said earlier that the Navajo Nation Law Enforcement received
37,000 calls in 2002 for alcohol-related incidents.
lady established the tribe's first MADD chapter in Window Rock and
is pushing to develop more MADD chapters throughout the Navajo Nation.
The development of the Crownpoint MADD Chapter, the first on the
New Mexico side of the reservation, was organized by Alberta Becenti
who witnessed firsthand the effects drunk driving had on innocent
adults, it's our responsibility to protect our children and our
community from drunk driving," Becenti stated in a press release