• Steve Schmidt - Drive Safe Missoula

Western Montana Fair, were you there?

Drive Safe Missoula would like to thank all who helped at the Respect The Cage exhibit at the 2021 Western Montana Fair.


Special thanks to the Missoula County Sheriff's Department for towing the trailer to and from the fairgrounds. Without your help our communtiy would not be able to expierience such an important display.


Thanks to Missoula ROAD Court for being out there in the smoke and heat helping to spread the message of always driving sober and buckling up. Judge Holloway, Margaret, John and the two superstars Jeff and Aaron...it's hard for me to express how much I truly appreciate how many hours you all put into working in such uncomfortable conditions. Thank you all.


To the America's Super Pageant Queens, Kevi, Justine, Janet, and Kristina...your ongoing dedication promoting the use of seat belts is amazing. I really appreciate all the hours you all spent out there in the smoke and heat. Thank you so much for getting people to pledge to wear seatbelts.


Rolf, Kira (Safe Kids Missoula), Shannan (United Way Of Missoula), and Leah (Healthy Missoula Youth), I really appreciate your time and efforts helping spread the safe driving message to our community. I'm so glad you were there to help out. Rolf, thanks for stoping by every day and for reminding me about the Booster Bar.


To the hundreds of Missoulians and all others who stopped by the Respect The Cage trailer. It's impossible to express how honored I am that you allowed us the opportunity to share this important story with you. My heart melted every single time each of you paused to listen to the story and take in the importance of always driving sober and alway using your seat belt. So many of you stopped and shared stories of your own. It was an honor to meet you all and to listen. Thank you all for caring so much. I could feel the love.


To the group of 20 something guys who stopped and especially to the one guy who remembered this car when it vistited your high school 10 years ago. I was filled with emotion when you stopped, turned around, and told the story of the car to all your friends. It meant a lot that you rememberd this story after 10 years and that it has left an impression on your life. Thank you for sharing the story with your buddies. They listened to you and I'm certain they will always drive sober and buckled up. It was wonderful to see first hand proof that this exhibit continues to move people and save lives.


To the "Knuckles for Buckles" kids. Superheroes you are! What a gift you gave our community and me. Let me share the story, and this story will likely get its very own blog post soon. A group of five to six really young kids walked by and were in awe of the car. Gasping for air, they asked what happened. I shared a brief, kid-friendly version of the importance of always buckling up in their car seats with the kids.


The two caregivers with the kids then shouted, "What do we say, kids?"


The kids all shot their fists into the air and, in unison, yelled, "Knuckles for Buckles!"


The caregivers explained that they get to do "Knuckles" to the roof of the car when they get buckled up. She also used the phrase, "Knucks for Bucks." Genius. They then permitted me to use this, so keep an eye out for some youth-oriented "Knuckles for Buckles" materials soon.


Most importantly, I want to express deep and sincere gratitude to the Lugibihl family for allowing us to continue to share Jeremy's story with our community. I was truly honored and deeply moved to meet both Madisyn and David at the fair. Tina, it was great to speak with you on the phone after the fair.


So many people expressed their belief in the importance of us being there and sharing the drive sober and wear your seatbelt message. It was heartwarming to meet all the people who stopped and listened. Many others shared their stories with me, and there was a lot of love around the car all week.


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