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'This is put together because this family suffered a tragedy': Run4Change aims to raise awareness of drunken driving

Dave Burns, right, leads a group of 165 runners in the 5K Run4Change in April 2017 in Bismarck's Sertoma Park. Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune file photo1 / 2
Aaron, Allison and Brielle Deutscher on Brielle's first birthday. The West Fargo family was killed July 6, 2012, west of Jamestown when a vehicle - whose driver also died in the crash - collided with their vehicle on Interstate 94. Special to Forum News Service2 / 2

BISMARCK — The Deutscher Family Memorial Run4Change will be held here Saturday, April 20, at the Sertoma Club Community Center and Park Trails. The event, held in honor of the Deutscher family killed in a drunken driving accident in 2012, aims to raise money and awareness of the consequences of drinking and driving.

“It’s a family-friendly event; we want people to come to the run and talk about this issue,” relative and event organizer Tom Deutscher said. “This is put together because this family suffered a tragedy.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, North Dakota saw a rise in overall DUI numbers in 2018.

Proceeds from the run are returned to the community through grants for training, education and outreach to address the consequences associated with drinking and driving. In the past six years, more than $80,000 has been raised.

These funds have been used to start the "Never Drink and Drive" campaign in southwest North Dakota, provide server training throughout the state and to fund post prom and post-graduation parties.

“Anything to keep them off the streets,” Deutscher said.

Aaron and Allison Deutscher, both of West Fargo, and their 1-year-old daughter, Brielle, died July 6, 2012, in a crash caused by a drunken driver on Interstate 94. Allison Deutscher was pregnant at the time.

The Deutscher family car has been converted into a display, and these funds are used to help with travel expenses and upkeep as the display is shown at schools, businesses and public events. The car has been shown in four states to thousands of people.

The Run4Change, now in its seventh year, receives a lot of support from across the country.

“Eighty percent of (participants) are new every year. People come from Iowa, Arizona, Minnesota — not just local people,” organizer Arlene Deutscher said. “They’re hearing about it somehow, and that’s what pushes us to keep going.”

This year’s run will include a speech from North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem on the dangers and statistics of drunken driving in North Dakota, followed by 10K and 5K run/walks. These will be followed by a 1K bubble run, which will include an Easter egg hunt.

For more information on the Run4Change, visit www.ndrun.org.

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