Mothers Against Drunken Driving has launched a fundraising drive to raise money for victim services.

The organization’s Waxahachie office is offering a dining and entertainment coupon book for $20. The book includes more than 200 coupons good through Dec. 31 with a total value of about $2,000.

The coupons include free, two-for-one and 50-percent-or-more-off offers.

Proceeds from the coupon book will benefit victim services being handled by the local MADD office.

Former victim advocate and president of the Bluebonnet chapter of MADD, Marilyn Benedict, praised the work done by the local MADD office.

“Suzette Pylant, our MADD victim advocate in Waxahachie, has done an excellent job in serving the victims. … In fact, last year, she assisted the highest number of victims in the North Texas region,” Benedict said. “As a victim advocate, her main role is to be available and accessible to assist victims and their family members when needed.”

MADD’s goal is to help survivors move forward in their lives, she said.

“Often times the victims of these crashes don’t understand how the criminal justice system works and as a result may become re-victimized again,” she said. “With the help of a victim advocate, re-victimization can be prevented and these victims can begin the process or rebuilding their lives.

“In addition, prevention programs such as educating our children, teens and adults through Shattered Dreams programs and other DWI training programs help to reduce injuries and deaths caused by driving drunk crashes,” Benedict said.

Working out of Waxahachie, Pylant’s service area includes Ellis, Kaufman, Johnson, Somervell and part of Dallas counties.

During fiscal year 2007-2008 (July 1-June 30), Pylant worked with 279 victims, while providing such services as providing literature to attending court proceedings. The local office sets up victim impact panels to address first-time DWI offenders in hopes of diverting them from further offenses and also hosts an annual candlelight service to honor survivors and memorialize those who died as the result of drunken-driving accidents.

“There is much work to be done in our community. We need to see the laws of our community are carried out,” Pylant said in a recent interview. “We need to see new laws are created to protect us.”

Overall, Texas MADD served 6,262 victims and performed 15,165 services. In the North Texas region alone, 1,043 victims were served, with 2,527 services provided.

The Ellis County-wide coupon book contains offers from Denny’s, Subway, Cancun’s, Smoothie King, Dominoes, Sonic, Marsala, Nino’s, IHOP, 1870 Chisholm Grill, Hunan House Buffet, Mr. Jim’s Pizza, Discount Tire, The Ridge Golf Center, Ellen’s Amusement Center, All-Star Bowl, Savage Tan, Palm Beach Tan, Busy B Bakery, Planet Beach Tans, Julio’s Fish and Chicken, Schlotzsky’s, Taco Caban, marble Slab, Taco Casa, Double Dave’s, Irene’s Kitchen, Los Chilitos, Bar-B-Que Junction, Creekview Golf Club, Rent-A-Center, Cotton Patch, Dry Clean Super Center and Therapeutic Massage.

The books can be purchased in Waxahachie at the Daily Light, 200 W. Marvin; Compton’s Carpet Cleaning, 1316 W. Main St.; and the MADD office, 200 S. College St. (call 972-938-9444 first).

To order by mail, send your mailing address and a check payable to Fundraising Specialists and write MADD/Wax on the memo line. Mail the check to MADD, 200 S. Rogers, St. 104, Waxahachie, TX 75165. Allow two weeks for delivery.