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It wasn’t the historic scenery of New Orleans, and the crowd was much smaller than it was originally supposed to be because of COVID-19.

But that didn’t stop a group of locals from getting together on Saturday morning and walking — all to honor the memory of a loved one who was taken from them far too soon.

The family and friends of Dana Bourgeois gathered yesterday for a virtual walk as part of ‘Walking like MADD’, an event held annually to raise funding and awareness toward the fight against drunk driving, while also remembering the victims of the tragic incidents.

Bourgeois, a native of Larose and resident of Cut Off, died on October 2, 2019, after the vehicle her family was traveling in was struck by a drunk driver who was also killed.

Dana’s husband and children were injured in the wreck, but survived.

Bourgeois was 45 at the time of the wreck.

Those who knew Bourgeois say they miss her daily and the pain of the tragedy still stings — the memories of a warm, loving wife, mother, friend, family member and neighbor gone decades too soon because of another person’s irresponsible mistake.

But family members say they also know that raising awareness to the dangers of drunk driving and working to help prevent similar deaths in the future are what Dana would want them to do.

On Saturday, Team Dana totaled 34 of her closest family and friends, while other groups of family and friends held similar, smaller walks in other locations.

The group has raised close to $2,000 so far in donations and more will be collected for the next 30 days. To donate to the cause, CLICK HERE.

“Besides missing Dana, we enjoyed the family time, to be part of the walk in her honor and for such a great cause,” the family told The Gazette in a statement this weekend.

Team Dana walked the 5K here in South Lafourche to honor their loved one’s memory. The New Orleans event was canceled by COVID-19, but participants were asked to continue to raise money and to hold socially distanced virtual walks in their own communities.

Dana’s husband Brent and children Brena, Bella and Jean were all on hand and the group plans to hold a walk in Dana’s memory at some point in the future, though a date and location have not been set.

MADD has several programs throughout the year to assist victims, family members and survivors and to help them through a difficult time.

On Saturday, several virtual walks were held to remember loved ones who were lost because of the impacts of drunk driving.

With Team Dana, the group shared laughter, fun times, memories and tears. The forecasted rain held out and the event was able to go off without a hitch, as the family’s angel in the sky smiled down from above.

See photos from the day below. 

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