Volunteer of the Year - Bonnie Raffaele
Bonnie Raffaele of Sault Ste. Marie lost her 17-year-old daughter, Kelsey, in a distracted driving car crash in 2010. Since the terrible tragedy, she has been on a mission to educate teens about the dangers of distracted driving. Bonnie created the Kids Driving Responsibly (KDR) Challenge and travels to schools across Michigan telling teens about Kelsey’s story. She also fought to get “Kelsey’s Law” passed in Michigan, which makes it illegal for teen drivers with a level 1 or 2 license to use their mobile phone for texting or talking while driving. Bonnie has worked with national organizations on driver’s safety, telling her story at national events, including the Lifesavers Conference. She has also organized a KDR Challenge 5K neon night run/walk, had Kelsey’s story featured in several publications, and has been a “mom on a mission” to try and save as many lives as she can. “Bonnie has been through hell and back, but because of her compassion she continues on in hopes of ending this tragedy among teens today,” her nominator wrote.