Message from the President

To all of the friends of the Foundation, and any future friends,

If you have supported the Foundation in the past, or are just interested in learning more about it, I thank you for your interest and support. Your donations to the Foundation’s programs and sponsorship of our events is critical to our future success as well as our ability to provide resources to the families of those lost in work zones this year and for as long as it takes us to reach our goals of zero need for all that we do. Our goal is to get the Foundation’s message out to every ATSSA member and every employee that risks their lives on our nation’s roadways every day. You are all a part of our collective family.

We all see the highway fatality statistics, and following a 7 year decline, they rose 5% in 2012, to 36,200 traffic fatalities, which included over 700 work zone deaths that year. The faces of those people who are represented by those numbers could be any of us. Each one of those numbers represents a person who left behind parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and friends who were devastated by their loss. Those victims will never walk their daughters down the aisle, or meet their grandchildren. The tragedy of these lost lives is unspeakable. Those that are lost in work zone accidents touch each of us personally because they were part of our industry and by extension, our lives. The deaths of those men, women and children break our hearts every time a work zone fatality becomes public, even if we didn’t know them personally.

The Foundation’s focus for 2014 and beyond is to align ourselves with ATSSA’s Toward Zero Deaths initiative. How can we do that? Our goals are more than just toward zero deaths. They are Toward Zero Scholarships and Toward Zero Names on the National Work Zone Memorial. Your gifts to the Foundation help provide scholarships to the surviving children and/or spouses of those deceased, or even permanently disabled workers. This year, the Foundation Board provided 5 scholarships to children that could be your children, or your coworkers’ or your friends’ children. Think about it, put faces on those names and numbers. Think about the people who left for work one morning and never returned. Imagine the impact that kind of loss has on their families and not just the emotional loss of their loved ones. They are often left with a financial loss that potentially eliminates their hopes and dreams of a college degree. The scholarships that the Foundation provides these surviving children are often desperately needed in order for them to attend college. Without them, I have been told many times, college might have been out of their reach. Your donations have made those scholarships possible, and through them, the dreams of many of these children have been realized.

ATSSA’s Toward Zero Deaths mantra is shared by all of us. It is important to remember that the public awareness generated by the Foundation and its programs goes a long way in motivating legislatures to support the safety initiatives so important to our industry and the driving public as a whole.

We need to take care of our own, and all of these losses represent our industry. Each is felt by all of us. What will your legacy be? Through your support of YOUR Foundation, you can help ensure that its mission is fulfilled and that the Foundation continues to do well by doing good.


Sincerely,
 

 Sue Reiss
Foundation Board President

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