Written by Ali Mariani
Milford, CT, It was a beautiful day for running, indeed. This past Saturday, September 12, at Walnut Beach in Milford, CT, the sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the air was filled with excitement and passion as over 200 runners/walkers prepared to take off for a 5k run/walk in the name of addiction and mental health advocacy.
The R.E.A.C.H. OUT Project and The (I’m)Possible Project, two local non-profit organizations, teamed up to host the 2nd Annual Road to Recovery 5K Fun-Run and Wellness Walk to raise awareness about addiction and mental health challenges that youth and families face throughout Connecticut.
The day was filled with hope for anyone struggling with addiction and/or mental health challenges. With three courageous speakers talking openly about their experiences with addiction, the event created a safe space for individuals in recovery to unite in celebration of National Recovery Month. Participants also had the opportunity to remember loved ones who have passed as a result of mental health and/or addiction. An arts and crafts table filled with different colored stars and vibrantly colored decorations invited people to create a star for a loved one who passed and post it on a remembrance board. By the end of the day, the board was nearly full: a beautiful way to remember loved ones.
The R.E.A.C.H. OUT Project’s mission is to create a safe environment in which at-risk youth and family members struggling with behavioral, substance use, and/or mental health disorders can receive support from peer mentors. The (I’m)Possible Project educates youth about mental health with the vision that all youth who encounter a mental health challenge will know where to turn for help and will do so without fear or shame.
The event also extended its reach to families, with a bouncy house, face painting, arts and crafts, a DJ, and various raffle prizes. Featured vendors included Ruff’s Pizza, Marcus Brazilian Stonetree Jewelry, Walnut Beach Wellness Center, Sea and Forest Creations, My Transformation Training, and Foundation for Wellness Professionals.
If the event’s goal was to share the message that recovery is possible, it was a resounding success.
Special thanks to our event sponsors: Thom Bach, Mindmap, Causeway Collaborative, Mountainside Treatment Center, Milford Bank, Buzz Howe Agency, Orchid Ortho, Cruz Electric, Montano Distributor, Frank Spano, MD, Wildermere Beach Congregational Church, Papa’s Pizza, AAA Northeast, Aware Recovery Care, Jeffery S. Norman, Sullivan and Laliberte, LLC, Unitex Textile Rental Services, Inc, APT Foundation, Caserta & de Jongh, LLC, and CCAR (Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery).
All proceeds from the event will provide mental health and addiction programs for youth and families in Milford and New Haven County.
Contact: Carol Cruz at (203) 507-4223 or Ali Mariani at (203) 984-2264 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.