The Tulsa Health Department’s Regional Prevention Coordinator Program (RPC) and the Stop DUI Task Force are joining forces to raise awareness of the devastating effects of drunk driving in Tulsa County through the annual Tree of Life holiday display. This year, community members are invited to share a copy of a photo of a loved one lost to a drunk driving incident to be included in the Tree of Life ornaments that will be on display at Woodland Hills Mall starting in December.
Kandice Lawson, a prevention specialist at the Tulsa Health Department, emphasized the importance of remembering victims as people rather than just numbers. “It’s important to think of victims as people, not just numbers,” she said. “Putting a face on the lives lost to drink driving can help us see the real impact that alcohol abuse can have in our community.”
Since 2014, the Tree of Life has served as a reminder of the number of Tulsa County families who lose a loved one during the winter holiday season due to a drunk driving accident. There are wrapped presents on the tree as a symbolic reminder of the presents that will not be opened this year due to a family member who is no longer around. The number of gifts matches the number of lives lost in Tulsa County due to drunk driving.
Visitors to Woodland Hills Mall can sign a pledge card near the Tree of Life to make a personal commitment to abstain from drinking and driving. People who consume alcohol should do so responsibly and make a plan for a sober driver or use a ride-sharing service. Photos can be submitted digitally through the Tulsa Health Department website, or physical copies can be dropped off at three Tulsa Health Department locations. Photos can be accepted from now until December 8, 2023. If you are sending digital copies, please use the name field to include