As part of Ben Walters’ sentence he is required to speak to High Schools about the impact of making the wrong choice to drink and drive. Ben has completed his probation and has decided to continue with the speeches, he delivers a powerful message. The speeches are typically conducted with both Linda Sheftel and Cynthia Walter speaking with a video of Ben’s speech. As a team they are trying to deliver a strong, poignant and emotional message of what goes on behind the headlines. What is the impact on the families, friends and the community when a tragic death occurs, particularly one that could have been avoided.
In Spring of 2007 the ‘trio’ spoke to over 20 High Schools to parents, students and faculty. In 2008 Linda and Cindy (Ben’s mother) continued to speak to about 15 different audiences. Ben could not participate, he was in jail, serving a sentence for DUI and parole violation. Ben has since been released and while he is receiving treatment he continued with the speeches.
In 2009 they spoke to approximately 15 schools. The message while still the same “don’t drink and drive, don’t let your friends drink and drive, and don’t make a decision that could end in a tragedy”; is now demonstrating how time does not always heal – living with the outcome does not necessarily get any easier.
Ben speaks truthfully about his struggles with taking a life, making a poor and disastrous decision, how his life has changed and so has his family’s. Elliot Sheftel now speaks (as scheduling permits), about the scientific effects of drinking, the actual physical effect on your body, judgment, and abilities to function based on the amount of alcohol consumed. Ben is no longer a regular speaker, he has a full time job and it is difficult to take the time. A video has been made of Ben speaking, with Linda and Cindy following with their speeches.
The speech is approximately 75 minutes — allowing for some question and answer. To view the speeches click on the links below. 2012 versions, although the actual live speeches will probably not follow the scripts or printed material exactly and will be updated to the current time.
To view the letter sent to the High Schools outlining the presentation, click here:
To be updated:
To find out more information or to book a speech feel free to contact:
Linda Sheftel — firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-432-6353
Cindy Walter —
Linda Sheftel’s Speech about Justin
Handout: Speech 2015
Cynthia Walter Speech
Handout: Cynthia Walter Speech 2009