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Community Launches Alexa’s Bus Campaign

March 03, 2011

Surrey – Mayor Dianne Watts and the Surrey community helped the Middelaer family officially launch the Back the Bus fundraising campaign during a special ceremony at Surrey City Hall today, which included over $77,000 in donations.

The funds will be used to purchase new, state-of-the-art mobile impaired driving testing units for use by all police forces in B.C. They will be named in memory of 4-year-old Alexa Middelaer, who was killed by an impaired driver in 2008. The buses and will act as educational tools to teach people about the real consequences of impaired driving. They will also contain all the space and equipment required to collect evidence and process impaired drivers efficiently and effectively at roadside locations.

“We need to give police the best tools available so they can collect the best evidence and ensure drunk drivers are caught and convicted,” says Mayor Dianne Watts who donated $10,000 on behalf of the 2010 Mayor’s Charity Ball and the Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society. “Our community was deeply saddened by the Middelaer’s tragic loss and I’m hoping that Surrey will be the first city with an Alexa’s Bus. She was a precious child who was taken from our world too soon and the community is joining forces to prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future.”

Each bus costs $250,000 and the goal of the Back the Bus campaign is to raise $1.25 million to purchase five buses that will be used province-wide.

“As a family, we are trying to create something positive from the tragic loss of our daughter. Working on this Alexa’s Bus initiative has given our family a purpose, a way to channel our grief, but it is ultimately giving our police in this province a tool that they have requested and need,” says Laurel Middelaer, Alexa’s mother. “If we can use our story to help make positive change and ensure a safer province for others, then we feel we have honoured our sweet Alexa. Together, we can all make this positive change, and work towards the safest roads in Canada.”

The fundraising launch included the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation, Police, and community supporters who donated over $67,000 to the campaign at today’s event.

“Like the Alexa’s Team and the current impaired driving sanctions, Alexa’s Bus is another means to deter impaired drivers through education or enforcement,” stated Allan Lamb, executive director of the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation. “I am pleased that Mayor Watts, local businesses and individuals from the Surrey community have stepped forward with such generous support to Back the Bus.”

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Media Contact:

Tara Foslien
Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor

Lennea Durant
Media Relations
BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation