“Every day in America, another 28 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes. That’s one person every 53 minutes.” On Saturday we attended the annual MADD Heroe’s Award Banquet recognizing law enforcement where Officer John Fermon was awarded The Michael Collins Humanitarian Award. Officer Fermon from the City of Bloomington – Police has made DUI enforcement in this community a passion. In 2016 he set a new record with 107 DUI arrests beating the previous record of 53. He also has the most DUI’s in the department as a total since 1999 and is the only downstate officer with over 100 DUI’s. Officer Fermon was one of the first responder’s on the scene the night of Michael’s crash and the event has had a profound impact on him personally. He stated he is “motivated by Michael,” and that he has been touched to “Pay it forward.” He also volunteers his time to the foundation whenever possible. We could not be more proud of this year’s selection. Congratulations.
The Michael Collins Foundation proudly created an endowed scholarship at Illinois State University. Please click here or on the photo above to read the article by WJBC.
MADD Illinois proudly announces the MADD Michael Collins Humanity Award
Bloomington Normal, Illinois – On Saturday, August 20, 2016 Mothers Against Drunk Driving announced at their yearly Law Enforcement Recognition Banquet held in Springfield, Illinois that the MADD Community Award was being renamed the Michael Collins Humanity Award, in honor of Normal native, Michael Collins.
In the past MADD Community Award, now the Michael Collins Humanity Award, is given to the individual or organization that demonstrates fellowship with others as the result of the sharing of similar attitudes, values, interests and goals with respect to MADD’s mission and the overall desire for the improvement of the quality of life in their community.
Michael Collins was a 22 year old senior at Illinois State University majoring in Exercise Science when on March 29, 2014 a drunk driver with a blood alcohol content level more than twice the legal limit ran a red light traveling over 100 mph at the intersection of Main Street and Empire Street and collided with a vehicle that Michael Collins was a passenger in. Michael succumbed to the injuries he sustained at the crash and passed away four days later on April 2, 2014.
“Jim and Kelly Collins are wonderful people who have had the ultimate tragedy bestowed upon them and that is the loss of a child. The Collins family and The Michael Collins Foundation have been extremely generous to MADD Illinois and have donated considerable funds, as well as their time and leadership that has allowed for MADD to further pursue its mission to stop drunk and drugged driving, prevent underage drinking and provide services to victims of the violent crime,” said Sam Canzoneri, State Executive Director of MADD Illinois.
“Our family is deeply humbled that MADD has changed the name of the award to embody Michael’s spirit and the mission of his foundation. We will continue to partner with MADD to raise awareness and fight against this senseless and preventable crime,” said Kelly Collins, mother of Michael Collins
My poster for the Michael Collins Foundation is a little girl holding her father’s hand with a set of car keys. They girl’s jersey is the color of Michael’s Heartland jersey, and includes Collins’ last name and number. I included the quote, “You’re not the only one on the road,” because drunk driving not only affects those who are impaired, but also can be detrimental to those who are being responsible. This father, who took his daughter to a baseball game, is being a safe and sober driver. But, if another driver is irresponsible he/she may take the lives of innocent people. My future choices include safe and sober driving because I am aware of the consequences that accompany drunk driving, as well as the danger it brings upon myself and others.
Normal Community High School
For my MCstrong poster I wanted to portray the message that together, we are stronger. I was inspired by the Bible verse Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 which says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.” If is much easier for a community to come together and make a difference than an individual. I think it’s essential for friends and family to encourage each other to drive sober and make safe decisions. If we join together, support each other, and “lift people up” our community can make a difference not only in Bloomington – Normal, but around the world. In my poster I painted a person’s hand grasping on to someone else’s to illustrate someone “lifting up a friend” and “lending a helping hand.” The reason I chose to paint this was to show what it looks like to encourage and help others get back on their feet and make good choices. I also painted the MCstrong logo on the arms. I wanted to promote and share the message of
The Michael Collins foundation. Michael Collins touched many people in our community, and his accident struck up a change in our town, and in me. I plan to drive safe and sober, and to inspire others to do the same.
Normal Community High School
As the summer winds down and Labor Day approaches we are once again reminded of the dangers of being on the roadways. According to AAA the “100 deadliest days” of the summer driving season are from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
The Michael Collins Foundation, not long ago, recognized local law enforcement for continued efforts to eliminate drunk and drugged driving by presenting the MCstrong Award. Each candidate was selected by their command officer based on specific criteria. This award will be presented annually to a Bloomington, Normal, McLean County, and Illinois State University police officer for their exemplary DUI enforcement.
All to often the tireless work of police officers goes seemingly unnoticed by society in general. We, at The Michael Collins Foundation, want to express our sincere thanks and appreciation for making safe roads a number one priority.
Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the 2016 MCstrong Award.
Michael loved baseball. He called his two years as a Heartland Hawk “the best two years of my life.” Those two years included consecutive trips to the NJCAA World Series in Enid, OK. Prior to playing at Heartland he starred at Normal West, leading the Wildcats to consecutive Big 12 conference championships. And while he was attending Illinois State University, Michael was an assistant coach at University High School.
The Michael Collins Memorial Scholarships will be awarded annually to a player who exemplifies the characteristics that made Michael a special individual to have as a teammate, player, friend and son. Players chosen will demonstrate a strong faith, an outstanding work ethic, a commitment to servant leadership, a high level of integrity, a love for coaches and teammates, and a pursuit of excellence both on and off the field.
Here are the 2016 scholarship winners:
We are excited to announce that Kelly Collins will be partnering with MADD to share Michael’s story with the Chicago Bears Rookie program next week. Michael was a passionate and dedicated athlete, and we are honored to further promote his legacy, the importance of making responsible decisions, and the dangers of drinking and driving with these promising young athletes.
“I was honored to share Michael’s story & the dangers of drunk driving with Chicago Bears Rookie Program this past Monday,” Kelly Collins commented. Each player was gifted a Dare To Be Uncommon Devotional (Tony Dungy) challenging them to make responsible choices that will echo through eternity. Thanks again to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)for all the work they do to end drunk driving.