A Gift to Save Lives

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A UWG student has given the campus police a $10,000 gift to help the department enhance its alcohol awareness efforts.

Michael Menkes, has lost friends – too many to mention, too difficult to remember – to alcohol, he said.

“I’m trying not to get people killed, basically,” said Menkes, criminology major. “I don’t think younger people realize how dangerous it is to go through life as an alcoholic.”

Menkes said he’s trying to prevent “car wrecks [and] alcohol-inspired insane stunts.”

The $10,000 gift is in honor of his deceased parents. His father, George Menkes, was a World War II Navy veteran who died in 2007 at the age of 91. His mother, Florence Menkes, was 89 when she died in December.

“I was raised to give back,” said Menkes, a nontraditional student.

“I’m concerned about the severe alcohol use by people who really don’t understand exactly how damaging that is, physically and mentally,” Menkes said.  “They don’t realize how fragile life is.”

Menkes, who is Women’s Studies minor, also plans to donate $10,000 to that program for a scholarship.

Campus Police Chief Thomas J. Mackel said the gift will allow the department to buy several portable alcohol meters, which are used to measure alcohol level. Mackel also plans to buy an Intoxilyzer 5000, used in the courts to prove that someone is legally drunk.

Campus police do not have an Intoxilyzer and must use one at the Carrollton Police Department whenever they detain someone whom they suspect is drunk.

Mackel said that almost all on-campus fights, vandalism and acquaintance rapes are alcohol-related.

“In these budget times to have someone willing to provide that level of support is exciting and appreciated,” Mackel said.