GOLETA, Calif. - Golfers took a big swing at the fundraising effort to help the new VOW4MAL foundation.
It's in memory of Mallory Dies, who was hit by an accused drunk driver in Santa Barbara last month and died five days later. Dies was a popular bartender and UC Santa Barbara graduate.
120 golfers turned out at the Sandpiper golf course in Goleta for the tournament, dinner and silent auction today.
"Yes there is a huge hospitality industry, however with the liberty of going out, drinking and having a great time, comes with a responsibility of getting home safe and getting the people around you home safe," said VOW4MAL organizer Ryan Todey.
"It was mostly young people out here," said Matt Dies, Mallory's father. "Those are the people who are going to effect change."
Beyond the no drinking and driving message there are plans for a safe ride home program, and outreach into the schools.
"One of the lines we use is, we want to make drinking and driving in the high school as cool as racism, where if you do that, people look down on you," said Dies.
Family members said the community support has been touching, after the tragic loss.
"It's hard, being the same age as her. It's really hard to go through, I have challenges every day, so is every member of our family," said Mallory's cousin Kelly Dies from Orange County. "It is a different experience with it, obviously none of us have dealt with anything like this so it's very trying."
Organizers say they plan to have an educational message out to schools, along with bars, restaurants and possibly other cities including San Luis Obispo.
The fundraising efforts were made possible in part by the Sandpiper Golf Course, Holdren's Steaks and Seafood Restaurant, Shalhoob Meat Co., and UBER Transportation which has a special VOW4MAL promotion.
For more information contact: https://www.facebook.com/Vow4mal.org