Valrico resident Debbie Morrell honored her late husband, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy Larry Morrell, by raising more than $6,000 for Mother’s Against Drunk Driving.

Valrico resident Larry Morrell was dedicated to fighting drunk drivers and despite the fact that the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy lost his battle with cancer last year, his mission to make the roads safer lives on.

Morrell’s wife, Debbie, a teacher at FishHawk Creek Elementary School, recently raised more than $6,000 when her team, MADD About Larry, participated in the Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Walk Like MADD event in Tampa in his name.

“Those who knew Larry know that the best part of his career was dedicated to removing drunk drivers from our roads and preventing underage drinking,“ said Debbie. “Larry’s passion for arresting drunk drivers began after a drunk driver killed his friend, John Paul and he supported MADD at every opportunity.”

MADD, founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving, drugged driving and underage drinking. The recent Walk Like MADD event, held in March at the University of South Florida, was the largest walk in the event’s 11 year history with 600 walkers representing 52 teams. More than $97,000 was raised over all.

MADD About Larry was the highest fundraising team and the walk was dedicated to Morrell due to his commitment to the group’s mission.

“Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy Larry Morrell worked daily in the trenches educating the public, working with establishments that sell alcoholic beverages and on patrol arresting drunk drivers,” said Larry Coggins Jr., executive director for MADD’s West Central Florida division. “His impact on our community and MADD resulted in the creation of the Deputy Larry Morrell MADD Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award.”

“We will be able to continue our victim advocacy program for victims and survivors of impart driving crashes and will also be able to continue our monthly Victim Impact Panels that educate DUI offenders designed to prevent DUI recidivism,” said Coggins.

Debbie has pledged to continue supporting MADD in her husband’s name.

“I will forever be proud of him and I will continue to keep his legacy alive and support all he stood for,” she said.

For more information on MADD, visit or call 935-2676.

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Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.