TIFF recognizes and encourages supporters at 10th anniversary

TIFF web developer MTC student Matthew Vreman and family

Manatee Technical College web development student Matthew Vreman redesigned the TIFF website http://toinformfamiliesfirst.org.   His mother, father and grandmother came to see him recognized for his work at a 10th anniversary recognition ceremony.  TIFF founder and President Christine Olson called the new site “world class.” Under the instruction of Vera Bourenina, MTC students have been designing the site since its creation in 2005.  The site provides Florida motorists the opportunity to register family contact information with law enforcement in case of emergency.  Bourenina said, “There’s nothing better for a teacher than to see students grow, not just professionally, but also spiritually—giving back to the community.”

(Bradenton, FL—March 31, 2016)  Christine Olson, founder and president of To Inform Families First (TIFF), recognized the people and organizations that helped the non-profit organization dedicated to promoting emergency contact registration get started 10 years ago.  She also recognized those who have helped the initiative reach 11 million people since then.

Senator Bill Galvano was the first to be recognized.  “When Christine came to see me in the wake of what I consider to be an unimaginable tragedy with an idea to make the state of Florida better and to have a status where other people would not have to endure what she went through, and something so common sense and simple,” he told the audience, “it was very easy to embrace it and to help it along.”

Senator Galvano, Representative Greg Steube, Sheriff Brad Steube, Deputy Chief Colonel Rick Wells, Manatee Technical College web development instructor Vera Bourenina and student Matthew Vreman were among those recognized at the awards presentation at Manatee Technical College on March 31, 2016.

“I am a server at the Rod and Reel in Anna Maria,” said Olson.  “I didn’t know anything about how government worked.”  She encouraged the students in the audience to pursue ideas they have.

Olson’s daughter, Tiffany, died in a traffic accident on December 7, 2005.  It took over six hours for her to be notified.  As a result, Olson came up with the idea to create a service to provide emergency contact information to law enforcement in the event of emergency.

“As a parent, it gives me comfort to know my kids are registered,” said Deb Toby, deputy director of the Motorist Services Division of the Florida Department of Highway Safety.  Toby was receiving the award on behalf of executive director Terry Rhodes.  She said about 65% of Florida motorists are now registered.

Sheriff Steube said, “This is something everyone needs to be involved in.”  The information may save crucial time if it ever becomes necessary to contact family members.

“You can’t help but be inspired by Christine and her passion,” said Colonel Wells.  “Ten years ago, we had a goal to reach one million.  We’ve now reached 11 million.  It’s my honor to be involved.  Our primary goal is to get the information to the families.”

Rep. Steube said, “We passed a Bill last year to include emergency contact information when motorist’s apply for a driver’s license.”  The bill should help to get the remainder of Florida drivers registered.  Steube is chair of the Highway & Waterway Safety Subcommittee.

Olson called the new website redesigned by student Matthew Vreman “world class.” Under the instruction of Vera Bourenina, Manatee Technical College web development students created the TIFF organization’s first website in 2005 and have been updating or recreating it since then.

Assistant director Dr. Valerie Viands encouraged students to register and challenged them to share it with all their friends on Facebook.  For information on how to register, go to the TIFF websitehttp://toinformfamiliesfirst.org or go to www.myflorida.com and click on Emergency Contact Information System Registration.

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