Kern County will be joining MADD California in holding its seventh annual 'Walk Like MADD' and 'MADD Dash' on Saturday Oct. 10, but this time in a virtual format.

The annual fundraiser raises money for MADD Kern County, which fights drunk and drugged driving in the community. In a news release, the group said that there have been 4,000 DUI arrests in the county each year since 2009. The group said this year's fundraiser is especially important because MADD California has lost over 80 percent of annual revenue in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Now more than ever, it’s important we come together to help victims and put an end to these tragic, 100% preventable crashes,” said MADD Kern County victim services specialist Carla Pearson, in a release. “People are still making the choice to get behind the wheel while under the influence, and putting everyone on our roadways in danger. Like putting on a mask to protect our friends, family, and neighbors, we need to make a habit out of always driving sober.”

Proceeds from Kern County's event will fund local educational programs and prevention, raise awareness of the DUI problem and provide support to local victims and survivors of DUI crashes.

The statewide virtual ceremony will stream on MADD California's YouTube and Facebook pages, and it will feature local CHP officers, including Robert Rodriguez singing the national anthem.

Participants in this year's event can pick up their packets on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon in the Chain | Cohn | Stiles alleyway at 1731 Chester Ave. They can run or walk the race anytime between Oct. 3 and Oct. 10.

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