Lest We Forget

Tucson Electric Power supports hundreds of causes and nonprofit agencies, but one of its longest-standing partnerships began 25 years ago with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

TEP began working with MADD in 1993 after TEP employee Robert Bills was killed by a drunk driver while working on the job. To raise awareness, TEP launched a “Drunk Driving Will Put Your Lights Out” campaign and teamed up with MADD to promote the safety of our employees and the community.

Since that time, TEP has supported MADD’s efforts to stop drunk and impaired driving, which claims about 300 lives and injures another 3,000 on Arizona roads each year, said Jason Frazier, MADD’s statewide Executive Director.

In 2017, TEP contributed $10,000 to support MADD’s educational programs and two annual events: Honoring Heroes, a ceremony that recognizes law enforcement, victims’ advocates and prosecutors, and Walk Like MADD, a walk/run that raises funds and awareness. More than 100 TEP volunteers and their families also participate in Walk Like MADD through TEP’s Community Action Team.

“TEP is a huge supporter of MADD,” Frazier said. “Its funding allows us to educate youth in schools about the dangers of underage drinking and teach parents how to talk to their kids about it. It also supports our victim specialists, who work with those affected by an impaired driver. We are with them from the beginning until as long as they need us.”

Last summer, TEP’s Customer Care department raised about $300 for Walk Like MADD. Employees sold 185 feet of duct tape at $2 a strip to fasten retiring Customer Service Manager Brian Bub to a brick wall.

Bub had volunteered with MADD for many years and led employee MADD activities. Jennifer Ann Hudecek, Senior Remittance Procurement Specialist, now continues Bub’s efforts by encouraging employees to participate in events. Hudecek also has been a long-time supporter of MADD.

With the upcoming Memorial Day and Fourth of July holidays, Frazier reminds everyone to stop and think before they drink and get behind the wheel.

“We’re not against people having a good time, but they need to have a plan for how they’re going to get home safety before they begin drinking,” he said. “When you drink, the first thing to go is your judgement. The cost of getting caught is $10,000 or more. So, have a plan. Have a designated driver, a friend, a taxi or a driving service lined up in advance.”