‘Remembering Michael Sot HERO Walk’ to raise funds, awareness about drunken driving

Michael Sot

CLARK, NJ — You could always depend on Michael Sot to do the right thing. That’s exactly what he was doing on Dec. 2, 2018, when he chose to serve as a designated driver for his friends and, in the cruelest of ironies, was killed by a drunk driver as he transported them back to their college campus after a party.

The Sot family honors Michael’s memory, and his commitment to designated driving, by working with the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign to ensure that other families don’t experience their pain and loss.

The Remembering Michael Sot HERO Walk will be on Saturday, June 19, at the Arthur L. Johnson High School in Clark. Registration begins at 10 a.m. A “Remembering Michael” ceremony will take place at 10:45 a.m., just before the start of the walk. All proceeds from the event support the HERO Campaign’s mission to promote the use of safe and sober designated drivers.

The HERO Campaign was established by the family of Navy Ensign John R. Elliott of Egg Harbor Township, who was killed in a July 2000 collision with a drunken driver two months after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. Since its inception in 2000, the HERO Campaign has grown into a major movement to prevent impaired driving that has received national recognition and awards. It has also helped to reduce alcohol-related fatalities and incidents, including a 35-percent reduction in driving-under-the-influence fatalities in New Jersey in the past decade.

Sot was a 20-year-old sophomore at The College of New Jersey when he pledged to remain sober that Saturday night and safely transport his fraternity brothers between the party and their on- and off-campus housing. He had made about two dozen trips as a designated driver that night before his vehicle was struck at 2 a.m. Sot and his five passengers were injured in the crash. His passengers survived, but he succumbed to his injuries two days later.

A native of Clark, Sot was a stand-out baseball player and a member of the National Honor Society in high school. He was regarded as someone whom classmates, family and friends could always depend on to do the right thing. Even after Sot’s passing, his legacy of service to others as a designated driver continues to inspire.

In Sot’s memory, the public is encouraged to visit https://p2p.onecause.com/michael-sot-2021 to register to participate as an individual, start/join a walking team, or make a donation to a walk participant or team to help end drunk driving.

Supporters can also take the HERO Pledge to be and use designated drivers.