The recent deaths of Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and Uber driver Jeff Monroe stir up a range of emotions. I’m heartbroken for the families whose lives will never be the same; I’m angry that the driver who hit them was intoxicated; and I’m frustrated that drunk and distracted driving is still so prevalent today, taking the life of one person every 52 minutes.
Unfortunately, I know exactly what the Jackson and Monroe families are experiencing right now. Seventeen years ago, my sister, at age 41, was killed by a drunk driver. Kristi Schultz Broughton was a wife, mother of three, Kindergarten teacher, high school cheerleading coach and hair stylist. Experiencing her sudden, senseless death was devastating not only for our family, but also for an entire community.
Our faith in God and love for Kristi helped us then and continues to inspire us today. A few months before her death, Kristi had envisioned a community event as a way to provide financial support for the athletic programs at Lutheran High School, a private school on Indianapolis’ southside where she served as cheerleading coach. To carry on her legacy, our family and the administration of Lutheran High School Indianapolis pulled together to help make this dream of hers come true.
Named in her memory and honor, the first “Kristi’s Games – the Lutheran FamJam,” kicked off in 2002. The goal of the one-day festival was to not only raise funds for Lutheran athletics but to raise awareness of impaired and dangerous driving, so that other families would never have to experience what we did.
My son Matthew was one-year-old when Kristi died, and sadly his only memories of her come from stories and pictures. Today, he is a junior at Lutheran High School and driving. The need for teens to be aware is heightened because of the increase in accidents due to texting and driving. Kristi would want to know that Matthew and his friends are listening and doing everything they can to drive safely.
In planning the event for this year, my team at Borshoff, an annual sponsor of Kristi’s Games, helped us evolve the message. We’re combining a Kristi’s Games event in conjunction with the boys’ basketball games on Saturday, February 17th, but we’re also asking everyone to join “Kristi’s Team” by signing a pledge to drive safely.
Will you join Kristi’s team this year and help us encourage others to make the right choices? You can help in three ways:
- Come to our event on February 17th
- Go to itcanwait.com and sign the pledge to not text and drive.
- Send in a financial gift to ATTN: Kristi’s Games, c/o Lutheran High School, 5555 S. Arlington Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46237.
Your involvement and support will truly increase our efforts and help save lives.