HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 7, 2015 – Birthdays are always a cause to celebrate. High Point University student Juliette Gabriel celebrated her 21st birthday in a unique way by raising funds and awareness to promote the importance of having a designated driver.
In place of gifts, Gabriel 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, she presented a check for $2,500 to help the organization save lives by promoting the use of safe and sober designated drivers.
Gabriel 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. “Spreading awareness of designated driving has helped save lives. 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.
In the future, the communications major hopes to establish the HERO Campaign at HPU to continue her commitment to save lives.
The HERO Campaign is named in memory of Navy Ensign John Elliott, who was killed by a drunk driver on July 22, 2000, two months after graduating with distinction from the United States Naval Academy. The non-profit organization established by his family has expanded from their home in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. to seven states from Massachusetts to Kentucky.
The marketing campaign promotes its message, “Be a HERO. Be a Designated Driver,” on highway billboards, radio and TV commercials, banners, posters and car window decals in partnership with schools and colleges, law enforcement, bar and tavern owners, NASCAR, the NFL and Major League Baseball teams.
Date: September 7th, 2015
Source: High Point University