It’s Fathers’ Day. A perfect day for a special salute to the national president of MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. What makes him different? Read his story from the Arizona Daily Star.
Glynn Birch’s life is split in two.
There is the life he had before his 21-month-old son, Courtney, was killed by a drunken driver 18 years ago. And there is the life that has evolved since, which he often refers to as his journey. It is a journey that has taken him from being a victim to becoming the first man and member of a minority to serve as president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Since his son’s death, he has devoted himself to stopping people from driving while intoxicated.
After his son’s death, Birch began volunteering with MADD, and he said he felt it was important to recognize other volunteers for their support and work for the organization. Many MADD volunteers serve as victim advocates, event organizers or share their stories of loss with the public. It was volunteers, he said, who helped him come to terms with his son’s death.
Birch’s son, Courtney, was playing with two cousins at his grandmother’s house in Florida on May 3, 1988, when the children heard the sound of an ice cream truck. Courtney followed his cousins outside and was struck by a drunken driver while crossing the street. The driver was traveling 70 mph and had a blood-alcohol level of 0.26 percent.
Birch, 49, originally contacted MADD for his wife. But she was too emotional to meet with the Orlando chapter, he said, and so he went alone. It turned into the only place where he felt he could grieve his son’s loss.
Now, as president, he hopes to extend the support he received to men and minority communities.