Suzi Stein knows first hand the effects a drunk driver can have on a family. On January 1, 1967, her grandparents were hit by a drunk driver and her grandfather did not survive the accident. Ms. Stein and her two brothers were very young at the time. She never got to know her grandfather, and her brothers’ memories are few. Her family lost a lifetime of love in one day, all because somebody made the poor choice to drive drunk.
“This is why I support Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD),” Ms. Stein said. “Drunk driving doesn’t just affect the other guy. It knows no boundaries and crosses all borders. It’s colorblind and is without discrimination. Everyone is at risk, moms and dads, sons and daughters, family and friends. In Texas, we share the road with 124,667 people who have been convicted three or more times of driving while intoxicated, and Texas leads the nation in drunk-driving fatalities. Drunk driving is 100% preventable. We know the cause. We know the cure. We can make a difference.”
On November 17, MADD East Texas will kick off its sixth annual safety awareness campaign, Tie One On For Safety, with a luncheon at The University of Texas at Tyler Ornelas Activity Center, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Ms. Stein is serving as the fundraising chair for MADD East Texas. The goals of Tie One On For Safety are to recruit anti-drunk driving partners to tie MADD ribbons to a visible place on their vehicle and to boost awareness about drunk driving. They also provide victims services, education and prevention, and political advocacy and activism.
In addition to her service to MADD, Ms. Stein volunteers as treasurer for Pay Attention East Texas and has served as co-chair of the Smith County American Cancer Society Relay for Life. She is a graduate of Leadership Tyler and is a member of the Tyler Audubon Society.
“I believe the more you give, the richer your life becomes. My goal is to be a ‘giver’ and a ‘connector’. A giver is generous with no strings attached. A connector introduces people to each other who can help with whatever cause they are working on – whether that’s fundraising, logistics, or advice,” Ms. Stein said.
Born in Boulder, Colorado, Ms. Stein has lived in Tyler for 17 years. She is a graduate of T.F. Riggs High School in Pierre, South Dakota. She earned her bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Tyler. Ms. Stein also attended South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota, and Tyler Junior College. She served sixteen years in the Army National Guard and retired as an Executive Officer. Ms. Stein is a member of St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church where she is co-chair of the Salvation Army Angel Tree Committee.
“I enjoy watching Tyler grow and change. Over the years, I’ve seen the population diversify and industry diversify. It’s exciting to see Tyler adapt and embrace change,” Ms. Stein said. “As a volunteer, you get an opportunity to see the growth and change close up.”