By: Lorrie Ward Jackson | Category: Special Interest | Issue: October 2011
A “Joining of the Hands” at the 3rd annual Rally for Victims.
In 2010, the Mothers Against Drunk Driving website, www.madd.org, predicted that almost 11,000 people would die in drunk driving accidents in the year following the posting. That translates to one person every 50 minutes. Brenda Montgomery knows full well the pain of such loss. She lost her son Aaron Gillming three years ago at the hands of a repeat drunken driver. Several years before that, Brenda’s niece, Lamanda Gillming, and her four-year-old daughter and six-year-old son were tragically killed by another drunken driver. That is why she founded the Aaron Gillming Foundation (Victims Helping Victims of Drunk Driving) – so that she could help others who faced the same tragedy.
In order to further this cause, The Aaron Gillming Foundation will host its annual dinner banquet and silent auction, October 8, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. at the Bailey Educational foundation building in Owasso. The evening promises to be both educational and entertaining, with Nascar driver Russ Dugger serving as the keynote speaker and giving a speech on safe driving. There will be a Don’t Drink and Drive Cake Contest, where cakes serving at least 20 can be entered and judged on creativity. Entries for the cake contest will be accepted through October 5. There will also be a Don’t Drink and Drive Poetry Contest, with the winner reading his or her poem at the banquet, which will consist of an old fashioned Indian feast followed by dessert–the competition cakes.
Door prizes will be awarded every 15 minutes, and the auction will include both a silent and live one. Brenda reports that she has already received several wonderful item donations for the auction, but there is always room for more. Volunteers are available to pick up any further items if needed. Tickets for this event are available for $20 each or $30 for two. Pre-registration is available by emailing forms to: eat0@eau0eav0eaw0 or by mailing them to P.O. Box 2061, Owasso, OK 74055.
The dinner banquet and silent auction is only one way The Aaron Gillming Foundation works to help victims of drunk driving. The foundation also hosts a Joining of the Hands event at the annual Rally for Victims. It also provides shoes for children of drunk driving victims through “Stepping Up” Shoes, personalized crosses for families to place at the accident site in commemoration, and handcrafted bears designed from the victim’s clothing. “By using the loved one’s clothing, it gives the victim’s families something of them to hold onto.” More details about Aaron Gillming’s story and of Brenda’s personal journey to help other victims of drunk driving can be found at www.theaarongillmingfoundation.org.
Even though it deals with a sobering subject, Brenda strives to make this event an enjoyable one. “Our annual dinner and silent auction is a fun event with great food and great pre-Christmas shopping,” she says. “And it’s all to support a much needed cause—‘Victims Helping Victims’ of drunk driving.”