Ocean City, N.J. , July 29, 2015 – For many, a 21st birthday is cause to celebrate being of legal drinking age. Instead, Juliette Gabriel used her special birthday to raise funds and awareness to promote the importance of having a designated driver.
In place of gifts, Juliette asked friends and family to celebrate her 21st birthday by donating to the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers. At the organization’s 15th Anniversary this month at Stockton Seaview Hotel, she presented a check for $2,500 to help the organization save lives by promoting the use of safe and sober designated drivers.
Juliette has been a supporter of the HERO Campaign since 2010, when she was crowned Ocean City’s Miss Night in Venice. The HERO Campaign is a beneficiary of the pageant, whose contestants raise contributions for local charities.
“The HERO Campaign has made me aware of the importance of being safe and making good choices,” said Gabriel, a junior at High Point University. “Spreading awareness of designated driving has helped save lives on our campus. Turning 21 gave me the opportunity to make the HERO Campaign an important reminder.”
“We are honored to have Juliette make such a meaningful contribution in such a thoughtful way,” said Bill Elliott, chairman and founder of the HERO Campaign. “In addition to her contribution, she has helped raise awareness for designated driving among her friends and family.”
The daughter of Sam and Colette Gabriel of Ocean City and Haddonfield, Juliette started asking for birthday donations rather than gifts in 2004, when she lost a friend in a tragic accident. Since then she also has raised contributions for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and the American Cancer Society.
Each October, she and her family also participate in the HERO Campaign’s annual HERO Walk, which attracts over one thousand supporters to the Ocean City, N.J. Boardwalk. This year’s walk will be held on Sunday, October 4, 11 a.m. at 6th Street and the Boardwalk.
In the future, the communications major hopes to establish the HERO Campaign at High Point to continue her commitment to save lives.