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HERO Campaign

Hero Campaign

November 17, 1977 – July 22, 2000
Ensign John R. Elliott
U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2000.
Named HERO of the Year.
Killed by a drunken driver.

The Heart of a Hero Inspires the HERO Campaign
Early on the morning of July 22, 2000, the Elliott family experienced a devastating tragedy.  John Elliott was traveling home to New Jersey from Annapolis, Maryland for his mother’s birthday when he was killed in a head-on collision.  The other driver had been arrested earlier in the evening on DUI charges then released.  The intoxicated driver got back behind the wheel of his SUV, resumed driving and struck John’s car, killing them both. John had just recently graduated with merit from the Naval Academy with a B.S. in Systems Engineering and was named the Outstanding HERO (Human Education Resource Officer) of his class for his service to his fellow midshipmen. As a HERO, John was a peer counselor and advocate for his classmates, helping them with academic and personal problems. In memory of their son John, the Elliott family established the John R. Elliott Foundation and the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers® in October 2000.

Mission and Goals of the HERO Campaign
The mission of the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers® is to prevent drunken driving tragedies by promoting the use of safe and sober designated drivers. The Campaign’s goal is to register one million designated drivers nationwide and make having a designated driver as automatic as wearing a seat belt.

The HERO Campaign’s awareness efforts include highway billboards, television commercials, distribution of hundreds of thousands of posters, car decals, brochures, and wristbands throughout the nation, as well as support from local government, law enforcement, bars & taverns, schools & colleges.

Be a HERO. Be a Designated Driver® !

If you are interested in taking the HERO Pledge, click here.

For more information, check out the HERO Campaign website.



  • Check out the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers® on youtube. 
  • HERO Campaign in the news

 We  encourage you to contact the ADEP office at regarding your questions or interest in the HERO Campaign!

TCNJ's HEROES of The Year
TCNJ’s HEROES of The Year, Annie and Grace