Marking Distracted Driving Awareness Month – IN DE AND PA, THE CASEY FELDMAN FOUNDATION’S EndDD.ORG BUILDS SUPPORT

Friday, April 19th, 2013

 

Casey's dad, Joel Feldman, speaking at the PA news conference

DE – L to R: State Police Superintendent Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr., Joel Feldman, Governor Jack Markell, Lieutenant Governor Matthew Denn, Tim Lengkeek, President – Delaware Trial Lawyers, Lisa Donofrio, Executive Director, Delaware Trial Lawyers

With a Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General and state lawmakers joining the cause, EndDD.org reached out to drivers and their passengers in Delaware and Pennsylvania, especially teenagers, with an urgent and life-saving warning to change their driving habits and stop driving distracted.

In separate news conferences in Wilmington, DE and Harrisburg, PA last week, EndDD.org founder Joel Feldman told the story of his 21-year-old daughter Casey, who was killed by a distracted driver. Feldman and his wife, Dianne Anderson, created The Casey Feldman Foundation and EndDD.org, a project of the foundation, to honor Casey’s life and save others.

“While I can’t bring Casey back, I can tell her story so that teens and adults will drive safer,” said Feldman, who worked with traffic safety, mental health and other experts to develop the EndDD.org interactive presentation that will be seen by more than 200,000 teens in 35 states this year.

In Wilmington, Feldman and EndDD.org supporters were joined by Governor Jack Markell, Lt. Governor Matt Denn, and State Police Superintendent Colonel Nathaniel McQueen, Jr. at a news conference hosted by the Delaware Trial Lawyers Association. That day, the state launched its second wave of cellphone enforcement, issuing tickets to drivers seen talking or texting on a cell phone. The Delaware Office of Highway Safety reported 1,718 crashes in 2012 due to distracted driving, one was fatal. Governor Markell made it clear that his office is committed to seeing that every teen in Delaware participate in the EndDD presentation.

DE – L: Governor Jack Markell, Joel Feldman and Lt. Governor Matt Denn sporting EndDD wristbands

“I was amazed by how many Delaware trial lawyers attended the news conference and stayed for a training session afterwards so that they could go out in their own communities and educate young drivers about the dangers of distracted driving,” said Joel Feldman.

In Harrisburg, Feldman joined State Attorney General Kathleen Kane, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, State Sen. Rob Teplitz, D-Dauphin County, Rep. Brandon Neuman, D-Washington and the Pennsylvania Association of Justice (PAJ). Sen. Teplitz and Rep. Neuman sponsored resolutions, passed unanimously in both houses, making April, “Distracted Driving Awareness Month.”

“Distracted driving takes a terrible toll on our families, communities and safety,” said Sen. Neuman. “It is my hope that educating everyone about the importance of safe driving habits will begin to change driving habits that caused 387,000 injuries and 3,331 deaths in 2011.”

“It is crucial to public safety that we continue to remind motorists to keep both eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel,” said Rep. Teplitz. “Just one moment of distraction can change the lives of not only a driver, but passengers, surrounding drivers and pedestrians, as well as their loved ones. No text message is worth risking lives.”

PA – L to R: Rep. Brandon Neuman , Mike Davey (PAJ), Joel Feldman, Scott Cooper (PAJ Pres.) and State Sen. Rob Teplitz

Rep. Teplitz praised Feldman and his family for “their leadership on this critical issue.”

“After he lost his daughter, Joel Feldman changed his own driving habits and committed himself to educating others nationwide about the dangers of distracted driving, especially teens,” Rep. Teplitz said.

“The (EndDD.org) presentation is heart-wrenching, powerful, and illuminating,” Sen. Neuman said. “It will challenge every mind and leave no heart untouched.”

Attorney General Kathleen Kane said, “It is critical that everyone, but especially teenagers who are just forming good driving habits that will last a lifetime, understands that driving while distracted is terrible dangerous…I am glad that the EndDD program is being show in high schools across Pennsylvania, and I’m proud to help make April “End Distracted Driving Month” in Pennsylvania.”

PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane speaking at the press conference

PAJ President Scott Cooper and Mike Davey, President of the News Lawyers Division of the PAJ, have committed their members to carry the EndDD program throughout the state.

Read more about the EndDD.org news conferences:

Pennsylvania:

Lawmakers, Victim’s Father Warn of Distracted Driving Dangers (Also view full video coverage of entire PA news conference here)

Father uses daughter’s story to tell dangers of distracted driving

Lawmakers, Victim’s Father Warn of Distracted Driving Dangers 

Father tries to prevent distracted driving (FOX News video)

PA Legislators recognize April as ‘Distracted Driving Awareness’ month  (News 21 video)

PA Auditor General Eugene DePasquale speaking at the news conference

 

 

 Delaware:

Father who lost daughter to distracted motorist leads effort

 

 

 

U.S. DOT, Joel Feldman’s post – Distracted Driving Awareness Month, “Celebrating my daughter’s 25th birthday”

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

“This past weekend, on April 6, we celebrated my daughter Casey’s 25th birthday. But Casey wasn’t there. She was killed in 2009 by a distracted driver, a 58-year-old man behind the wheel of a van. He took his eyes off the road for just a few seconds. Pink was Casey’s favorite color, so we released pink balloons in her memory….” Read the post of Casey’s father, Joel Feldman, founder of EndDD.org  on the U.S. DOT site: http://goo.gl/Yd4Fc

2012 Student Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign

Monday, May 21st, 2012

After Casey’s death, one of her colleagues on her college newspaper told us that Casey taught her that everyone has a unique story and if you listened carefully enough you would hear that story. Telling one’s story and having someone really listen and hear that story can be powerful and can change both the story teller and the listener.

The story of the EndDD.org/60forsafety 2012 Student Awareness Initiative is that a Philadelphia trial lawyer’s daughter was killed by  a distracted driver and more than 800 trial lawyers volunteered to speak out in her memory about distracted driving from Hawaii and California to Maine, Texas to North Dakota, Florida to Washington State and many of the provinces of Canada. When our first year’s initiative concludes, Casey’s story and the story of the senseless and needless loss of life from distracted driving, will have been told to more than 40,000 students. By telling Casey’s story and the stories of others killed by distracted driving, we have saved many lives. (more…)

U.S. Department of Transportation Commends Joel Feldman’s Efforts to End Distracted Driving

Friday, April 27th, 2012

By Dianne L. Anderson

Ray LaHood, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, dedicated a recent blog article to Joel Feldman’s (Casey’s father) efforts to end distracted driving through amassing some 800 attorneys and judges to speak to students across the country and in Canada. The effort was through EndDD.org, a website sponsored by the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation and dedicated to ending distracted driving. The presentations coincided with  National Distracted Driving Awareness Month –  April, 2012.

Casey Feldman in U.S. DOT public service video

The following are excerpts from the US DOT website blog:

In February 2011, the father of a young woman who was killed by a distracted driver sent DOT a video tribute to his daughter. Joel Feldman’s powerful video about his daughter Casey was the first outside submission to become part of our Faces of Distracted Driving. And Casey’s story has proven to be one of our most effective videos, capturing the attention of people around the world. …

Since then, Joel Feldman has not rested in his pursuit of that change. The organization he started, End Distracted Driving, has been a strong advocate in our fight to get drivers to keep their eyes on the road, their hands on the wheel, and their full attention on driving safely.

And, in honor of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, EndDD.org has launched the End Distracted Driving Student Awareness Initiative. This campaign seeks to educate students and other drivers throughout North America about the dangers of distracted driving. Perhaps more importantly, the Student Awareness Initiative gives drivers simple steps to keep them–and others–safe. …

End Distracted Driving has an ambitious goal for its April initiative: to reach more than 100,000 young drivers.

Within days of EndDD announcing the effort, more than 800 attorneys from across the United States and Canada had signed up to give Student Awareness Initiative presentations through high schools and civic groups. Joel Feldman says that Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) have been particularly open to hosting these presentations….

So I’m thankful that End Distracted Driving’s more than 800 volunteers are working hard throughout National Distracted Driving Awareness Month to spread the important safety message that cell phones and driving don’t mix.

Read the full U.S. DOT blog article here.

Related Links:

U.S. DOT  April 18th blog article

Casey Feldman, U.S. DOT Faces of Distracted Driving Video and Feb. 22, 2011 blog article

EndDD.org (End Distracted Driving)

 National End Distracted Driving Month

Delco, Montco and the Commonwealth of PA Establish Distracted Driving Awareness Month at the Urging of the Casey Feldman Foundation

 

Fordham Observer Scholarship Recipients Attend Associated Collegiate Press Conferences

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

By Dianne L. Anderson

Harry Huggins, The Observer's 2011 Recipient

With scholarship stipends from the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, two students from Fordham University’s Fordham College Lincoln Center (FCLC) were able to attend the 2011 and 2012 Associated Collegiate Press  (ACP) conferences. Both students are staff members of The Observer, the student newspaper at FCLC, where Casey was News Editor at the time of her death.

 Casey was able to attend the San Francisco conference in 2008 and the scholarships in memory of Casey enable at least one student each year to attend this very informative and educational journalism conference from which Casey learned a great deal. The Observer won Best of Show both years for a four year non weekly newspaper and Best of Show this year for their website.

Harry Huggins, a native of Illinois and junior at FCLC, attended the 2011 conference in Los Angeles. Like Casey, his major is Communication and Media Studies with a concentration in Journalism.   Harry has been a staff member of The Observer since his freshman year, occupying the position of Opinions Editor for the last two years.  Harry has just been selected as Editor-in-Chief for next year. Reportedly “passionate about journalism”,  Harry’s  goal is to someday be an “editor … somewhere!”

In expressing his gratitude for the scholarship stipend, Harry reported that his time at the conference gave him the ideas and advice from media professionals that ignited his drive to turn The Observer into a modern online news source. According to Harry, “With the tips I got at the conference, we are now focusing on multimedia content and breaking news reporting to better serve the Fordham community.”

In addition to his work on The Observer, Harry  is interning this semester with MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews. After studying in London last year and copy editing the party newspaper for the Liberal Democrat party, Harry interned with MSNBC’s Morning Joe upon his return to New York.  Back home in Chicago last summer Harry served as the Community Producer of the Chicago Tribune’s branch of hyperlocal websites, TribLocal.  His passion for journalism however, extends back to his pre-college years where Mr. Huggins was an Arts and Entertainment reporter for his high school newspaper and the Features Editor, senior year.

An honors student, Harry was also one of the coordinators of Fordham’s Emerging Leaders club last year and an Orientation Leader, positions that Harry stated also “fulfilled my love of leading others.”

Jasper Chang The Observer's 2012 Recipient

A native of Staten Island, Jasper Chang received this year’s scholarship stipend to attend the ACP conference in Seattle. Also a junior at FCLC, Mr. Chang is an English major with a minor in Creative Writing and has been this year’s Assistant Sports Co-Editor of The Observer. Fluent in Cantonese, Mr. Chang is also an accomplished gymnast and has worked part time during college teaching gymnastics to young people.

In addition to writing for The Observer, Jasper has worked in NYC for FoodFan Inc. as a Social Media Intern where he photographed NYC restaurants’ food and drink items for upload on FoodFan’s social networks, wrote critical reviews on NYC’s cultural cuisines, assisted in maintenance and update of FoodFan’s Facebook page and managed and updated FoodFan’s Boston Twitter.

Currently the Editorial Intern at Marvel Entertainment in NYC, Jasper’s duties include reviewing and revising master scripts for grammatical errors, organization and coherent storylines.

 With an interest in broadcast journalism, Jasper reported that his experience at the ACP Journalism Conference was “certainly worth remembering”.  According to Jason, “The sessions I attended were very informative and gave me a different perspective on how to produce news, create multimedia content, and write articles. I thank the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation for granting me this engaging and informative experience that has deepened my understanding of the world of journalism.”

Related Links:

Associated Collegiate Press

Fordham University’s Fordham College Lincoln Center (FCLC)

The Observer  (Student Newspaper of FCLC)

 

 

 

Phi Sigma Pi – Alpha Epsilon Holds 3rd Annual Casey Feldman Benefit Concert April 2012

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

Ryan Gellar (L) and Jimmy Donahue completing forms to commit to safer driving

By Dianne L. Anderson

The West Chester University chapter of the national honors fraternity, Phi Sigma Pi, held the third annual Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation benefit concert on April 14, 2012. Over $1500 in proceeds were raised on behalf of the Foundation.

Donating their musical talents in the ballroom at the Sykes Student Union were Ryan Colestock and the bands, Reservoir and The GoAround. Students paid a $5 donation at the door, and were able to purchase EndDD.org (End Distracted Driving) wristbands, keytags, bumper magnets and t-shirts. All attendees were also able to purchase raffle tickets for goods and services donated by local vendors. “Casey” tables were in place where students could view collages of photographs of Casey.

Phi Sigma Pi brothers don their "Because of Casey" t-shirts

Casey Feldman’s parents, Dianne Anderson and Joel Feldman, spoke to the group about Casey and the fact that a distracted driver struck her while she was in a crosswalk on a summer afternoon at the Jersey shore. Mr. Feldman took the opportunity to introduce the 3 minute video clip of Casey which appears on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Faces of Distracted website and spoke to the students about the issue of distracted driving.

Stated Mr. Feldman, “As Dianne and I speak with students in high schools and colleges as part of April’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we are encouraged by the willingness of young people to examine their driving behaviors and commit to becoming safer drivers. This is the feedback similar to what we have received from the hundreds of trial lawyers around the country and Canada who are also speaking with students as part of the Casey Feldman Foundation’s  www.EndDD.org initiative.”

Joel Feldman gets a hug from Amber Staska, Casey's friend and former Fraternity President who planned the first concert in 2010

The students at the Phi Sigma Pi sponsored concert exhibited the same willingness and completed forms committing to specific concrete actions for driving safer. “Hopefully you can all talk to your parents as well when you go home, since distracted driving is not just a young people’s problem. It is everyone’s” stated Joel.

 

Related Links:

Photos from the 2012 concert

Phi Sigma Pi Alpha Epsilon

Photos and videos from prior years concerts and traffic safety campaigns

All  Foundation articles on Phi Sigma Pi

 

Delco, Montco and the Commonwealth of PA Establish Distracted Driving Awareness Month at the Urging of the Casey Feldman Foundation

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

By Dianne L. Anderson

Joel Feldman Speaking at the Montgomery County Commissioners Meeting

At the urging of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation and Casey’s Feldman’s father, Joel D. Feldman,  the Commonwealth of Pa and Delaware County, Pa.  established April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  A similar resolution was passed last week in Montgomery County. Casey’s parents, Dianne Anderson and Joel Feldman were on hand at the County Commissioners meetings in Delaware and Montgomery Counties to speak and were presented with copies of the resolutions.

“We all have to make a decision as to how we will drive,” stated Joel Feldman. “Will we continue to take chances, continue to multitask and continue to drive selfishly, or will we decide that driving distracted can never be worth the risk? It took my daughter’s death for me to change the way I drive. It should not take personal tragedies for all of us to change the way we drive.” (more…)

Monique John Recipient of 2012 Fordham University Casey Feldman Scholarship

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

By Dianne L. Anderson

Monique John, Fordham University 2012 Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation Scholarship Recipeint

“Ms. Monique John is an extraordinary student who has made a strong impression on everyone who has taught her”, stated Dr. Brian Rose, Fordham College Lincoln Center (FCLC), in describing this year’s 2012 Fordham University Casey Feldman scholarship recipient. “Her tremendous commitment to her coursework and her overwhelming focus on a career in journalism reminds me, in many ways, of Casey”, added Dr.Rose. A junior at FCLC where she maintains a 3.7 GPA, Ms. John is managing editor of the Observer, FCLC’s award winning student newspaper and President of Molimo, Fordham’s black cultural club. Also fluent in Spanish, Monique is double majoring in communication and media studies and African and African American studies.

In recommending Ms. John for the scholarship, Associate Professor Albert Auster said, “More than being an A student in her studies Monique … was a vigorous, outspoken and intelligent contributor to discussions on the issues that we discussed in class…. Her research papers were well thought out, thoroughly researched, and filled with cogent insights into whatever area she was looking at…. She was one of a few students who could make the classes she was in more than just discussions of the issues of class, but she could bring to bear a wide gamut of experiences that were impressive.”

Also no stranger to community service and social commitment, Ms John has worked with Global Outreach Florida as a Team Leader with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the Immokalee Housing & Family Services and Habitat for Humanity. Last year’s summer vacation was spent with the Children’s Defense Fund’s Freedom School in Mount Vernon, NY as a Servant Leader Intern working with middle school and high school students to improve their reading skills, teaching dance classes for 5 to 17 year olds and leading students on field trips. (more…)

The Safe Road to Santa’s Workshop

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

(more…)

Joel Feldman receives the 2011 Pennsylvania Association for Justice 2011 Community Service Award for work in distracted driving

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Thomas Anapol (left), Joel Feldman and Pa. Association of Justice President Ken Rothweiler

On October 21, 2011 Kenneth Rothweiler, President of Pennsylvania Association for Justice, presented Joel Feldman of the law firm of Anapol, Schwartz in Philadelphia with PAJ’s 2011 Community Service Award. Mr Rothweiler spoke about how the news of Casey’s death had affected him, as well as the entire legal community. He said that Joel chose to try to turn the tragedy into something positive, and had succeeded by taking steps so that others’ children did not also die senseless deaths. He said that it was an easy choice for him to select Joel as the recipient of the Community Service Award for 2011.

Since Casey’s death at the hands of a distracted driver in 2009, Joel, and his wife Dianne, have worked to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving in order to save lives. Their collective efforts resulted in reduced pedestrian deaths in New Jersey as a result of a new pedestrian safety law and raising awareness for drivers and pedestrians about the shared responsibility for safety. (more…)