Springdale, SC (Paul Kirby) – The Springdale Police Department was awarded a check for $5,000 Thursday afternoon at their town hall off Platt Springs Road. It was presented by Ken and Traci Wolfe of the Kenny Wolfe foundation and will be used by the department to promote traffic safety and enforcement in the town.
According to their website, the Kenny Wolfe Foundation was founded in 2007 when Ken and Traci Wolfe lost their 18-year-old son, Kenneth “Kenny” Jr. in a vehicle collision. The mission of the Kenny Wolfe Foundation is to educate teen and young adults about the dangers and prevention of distracted driving. In 2016, on average, SC lost an estimated 30 young people between the ages of 15-24 each day, to a vehicle collision. The Kenny Wolfe Foundation has made it its work to drastically reduce this and see that our young people arrive home safely.
When receiving the donation, Springdale Police Patrol Sergeant Manuel said that the department will use the donated money to continue their work with young people in the town. “We will use some of it for enforcement tools like radar devices and other expensive items that we may not have in our budget, but we need. In other cases, we might use the funds to educate young drivers that will help ensure that the young person drives in a safer fashion. Not all the people we stop need to receive a citation,” Manuel said. “Often, we can simply work with that driver, sometime right on the side of the road during a traffic stop, to take corrective measures that could save their lives or the life of another motorist. We don’t want to necessarily impact a teen driver’s parents with a expensive ticket or the cost of additional insurance fees, we want that young person to understand the seriousness of the situation and how unsafe their behavior might be.”
Ken and Traci Wolfe, the parents of Kenny, said that their son was fearless. “He had no fear his whole life and he felt that way as a driver. He lived his life wide open and that was part of what made him special.” Traci said that since Kenny’s death, they have done everything they could to make their pain mean something by helping to educate young drivers about the dangers they face on the roads.
Traci said in the future she wants to work to change laws in regard to things like texting and driving so that officers can make more cases and the penalties will be tougher. “Every time I see someone driving and texting it makes me so angry because I know that this behavior is as dangerous as drinking and driving, but the penalties are ridiculous for the amount of harm that driver can do.” Springdale Police Chief Kevin Cornett pointed out that the way that SC laws are written regarding this type of charge makes it so difficult to prosecute. He said it would be nice for the legislature to look at it again and make some changes that would make it an easier process for officers patrolling.
The Wolfes met Sgt. Manuel at Springdale’s National Night Out and were immediately taken by the efforts the town’s department makes in splitting their work between education and enforcement. They raised the money donated Thursday through a golf tournament. Now, they simply want to get the word out about the foundation so that they can have a bigger impact on the number of deaths that our youngest drivers face on the roads and highways daily. You can find out more about the Kenny Wolfe Foundation and how you can help at www.kennywolfefoundation.com.