matching grant

The “Don’t Drive Then Drink” campaign got a financial boost Monday from benefactors Joseph and Kathy Madrigrano. From left are Kathy Madrigrano, Joseph Madrigrano Jr., Sabrina Morgan, Josh Covelli, Lisa Retzlaff and Guida Brown. Morgan, Covelli and Retzlaff are with Leadership Kenosha, which spearheaded the campaign. Brown is executive director of the Hope Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and co-chairwoman of the Kenosha County Substance Abuse Coalition.

The Kenosha County Substance Abuse Coalition launched a $10,000 matching campaign Monday for its “Don’t Drive Then Drink” campaign.

Kathy and Joseph Madrigrano Jr., announced the matching grant to sustain and expand the campaign as well as initiate a campaign on stigma-reduction for those with substance use disorders.

According to Joseph Madrigrano, “Kathy and I are paying it forward for those who need our help now. Programs like this save lives.”

The Madrigranos also donated $2,500 to the Coalition for its “Don’t Drive Then Drink” campaign.

Donors can visit to leverage the matching funds.

The campaign, announced in March, is being organized by the Kenosha County Substance Abuse Coalition, Leadership Kenosha and Hope Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse as a way to get people to think about getting home after drinking before they even get into a car.

The campaign is a take on the popular slogan “don’t drink and drive.” The three Kenosha organizations are making it their goal to get people to ditch their cars completely before going to the bar or the game.

They are doing this by encouraging people to sign an online pledge. They is also a social media campaign to spread the word, and the groups are also providing window clings for cars, and posters and coasters for bars and restaurants.

“We want people to make the decision before they even get the chance to drink because alcohol and other drugs turn off the good reasoning portion of their brains,” said Guida Brown, executive director of Hope Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse in Kenosha, in March.

Members of the campaign are encouraging people to consider public transportation, Lyft or Uber or other forms of transportation before going out to drink. Overall, they want people to “Ditch your car before the bar.”

Brown is hopeful that through social media, the campaign can spread across the country.

“I’d love for it to get to other places than just Kenosha,” said Brown.

“Even if we can change one person’s thought process, it will be beneficial and impactful,” said Sabrina Morgan of Leadership Kenosha in March. “We know we’re not going to reach everyone. ... There’s a big problem in the state with driving while impaired, but we want people to think.”