BRYAN, Texas — Usually you see these men and women on the road, or in the courtroom, but these public servants were shown in a different light Wednesday.

"Recognize all those law enforcement officers and members of the justice system who work so hard to keep our roads safe," said Suzanne Deatherage, the program specialist at the Bryan Office of Mother's Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

Dozens of officers and lawyers were honored at MADD's Heroes of the Highway event.

"Patrolling, arresting and enforcing DWI's require extra dedication," Deatherage said.

While the annual event always aims to recognize the unsung heroes on the roads, this year organizers made sure to remember a special force in the prevention of drunk driving.

"The person who would have been here and would have been leading us would have been Mrs. Laura Dean Mooney," said co-chair of the event, Elmer Schneider. "I feel like I should step to the side of the podium for a minute in her honor."

Laura Dean Mooney passed away in early October. She played a huge role in MADD, not only Texas, but across the country.

"You know its true that many times its after someone's passing that we realize more about the full scope of their life and their achievements," Deatherage said.

Mooney served as the national president of the organization from 2008 to 2011.

Her time did not end after that. She continued to volunteer, and served as this year's co-chair of for Heroes of the Highway.

"Without Laura here today, it leaves a void," Schneider said.

MADD announced Wednesday the Laura Dean Mooney Legacy Award, which will be presented in 2020. It will recognize an individual who embraces Mooney's passions of saving lives and keeping roads safe.

Mooney's colleagues, friends and family said they will continue honoring her, as well as those who help put an end to substance impaired driving.

"(Laura) still has that burning passion for all that you do, all that you represent and that wherever you are, her earthly reverence for you is now passed onto others to carry on remains solidly intact," said Mayor of College Station and Mooney's husband, Karl Mooney.


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