Close to 8,000 participants walked (or ran!) in our 5K series in Kansas City, New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, and Atlanta, and raised an incredible $1,754,000! These funds will go a long way to support families, bolster advocacy efforts, and provide evidence-based resources. 2017 was a successful first year for the Shatterproof Rise Up Against Addiction 5K Run/Walk!
In all five cities, teams wore matching shirts and many runners and walkers created special memorial lanyards and Why I Rise Up bibs to wear throughout the day.
Participants came with family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors to shatter the stigma of addiction. They even brought their children along to Rise Up.
They snapped selfies, took group photos and shared personal recovery milestones near the “Celebrate Recovery” and "End the Stigma" walls. They also shared hugs, laughs and tears as they honored their paths to recovery or a loved one’s journey.
Others visited the Memorial Gallery, where families and friends shared quiet moments of reflection. They read the stories of those we've lost to addiction, and added their own contributions.
Several companies, including Pacira, Indivior, Wyndham, Thomson Reuters, Chubb, and CBRE, supported Shatterproof by creating teams to walk in the 5Ks and setting up tents and tables in the Corporate Sponsor/Team Village area. Local treatment centers and community groups also showed their support with teams and tables in the Community Village area.
The opening ceremonies for each 5K were truly inspiring with passionate words and candid speeches from a round of unforgettable speakers, including local officials Governor Charlie Baker in Boston and Missouri Representative Holly Rehder, who asked supporters to join Shatterproof’s advocacy campaign for a state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), as well as Shatterproof committee chair/board member Gary Henson, who got the Kansas City crowd fired up.
At the New York 5K, NBC New York's Dave Price rallied supporters to sign Shatterproof’s petition to President Trump demanding an official declaration of a national emergency.
While at the Atlanta 5K, Grant Hill, NBA legend and spokesperson for Choices Matter, encouraged the community to come together to support those impacted by the disease. He also teamed up with Gary Mendell, Shatterproof CEO and Founder, to give water to the runners and walkers at the finish line!
Shatterproof Ambassadors Michele Abreu in New York; Shelly Modes in Washington, D.C.; Maegan Kenney in Boston; and Laurisa Barthen in Atlanta, shared incredible stories about recovery, hope and how they’re inspiring others.
Barthen told the Atlanta crowd, “There was a time in my life when I was hopeless and didn’t think it was possible for someone like me to not use drugs or alcohol,” she said. “In my recovery, my life today is better than I ever could have possibly imagined. And that’s why I speak out.”
At the start of the 5Ks in each city, the runners and walkers were beaming with joy, energy and excitement.
“During the 5K, I met other families just like mine. That was the best part of the day. I no longer felt alone,” says Lindsey Howlett, who lost her mother to opioids. “I realized that we’re all in this together. It was amazing to feel all the support from family, friends, and even strangers. It was a great experience because everyone pulled together and it really helped with my grieving process.”
The Shatterproof volunteers were absolutely amazing. They were full of cheers and encouragement as walkers and runners made their way along the 5K routes, and they were on hand to give support to family and friends during the events. Thanks to their help and unwavering support, all of the Shatterproof Run/Walks were a success.
“Shatterproof helps people who have lost loved ones to addiction and provides hope to those who have overcome addiction, like myself. I was truly honored to serve those families,” says April Gant, who volunteered at the Kansas City 5K. “I went to the 5K that morning with little expectations for the day but came away with my life changed forever.”
Kyle Mead, who has been in recovery for nearly 20 years, felt so inspired after the Kansas City 5K, that he and his team decided to attend and fundraise for all of the Shatterproof 5Ks in D.C., New York, Boston and Atlanta!
“The connection and commitment I feel personally having been a part of this is truly amazing. I’m thankful to Shatterproof for creating this platform to start a discussion about the fact that recovery is possible and how stigma limits access to necessary treatment for those with substance use disorders,” he said.
By the end of each 5K, participants were full of pride, inspiration and hope. Especially Adrianne Dollard of the New York 5K. “It was beautifully done and very cathartic for my husband and me, as parents who lost a son to this deadly disease. There was a feeling of community, acceptance, and understanding.”
For more highlights from the 2017 Shatterproof Rise Up Against Addiction 5K Run/Walks, click here.
In 2018, the Shatterproof 5K Run/Walk will head to several cities across the country. Be sure to join our email list to be the first to find out next year's 5K locations!