Our fifth and final 5K event of 2017 took place at Piedmont Park on Saturday, November 4. The morning started off with a bit of fog, but when the sun eventually emerged, it turned out to be a beautiful autumn day, perfect for shedding light on addiction.
Nearly 1,000 participants from all over the Atlanta area created 64 teams, raised funds, and spread the word on social media. Their hard work definitely paid off with such an amazing event.
There were plenty of things for the runners and walkers to do and see as they began arriving at 7:30 AM.
Some participants visited the Celebrate Recovery area, honoring their own or their loved ones' recovery milestones. Many gave hugs to celebrate each other and their family and friends.
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.
Teams came ready to shatter the stigma of addiction in matching t-shirts while sharing hugs and plenty of smiles.
Many runners and walkers created special memorial lanyards and Why I Rise Up bibs to wear throughout the day.
Around 8:30 AM, our morning program kicked off with our emcee Keisha Lancelin, host of channel CW 69’s Focus Atlanta, getting the crowd ready for an extraordinary round of speakers, including:
The four gave incredible speeches about the importance of ending the stigma of addiction and coming together as a community to support those impacted by the disease.
Shatterproof Ambassador Laurisa Barthen really stirred the crowd as she spoke candidly about her recovery. “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.”
After remarks wrapped up, the 5K officially began with participants excitedly walking (or running) through the gorgeous park.
Our wonderful volunteers teamed up to cheer on participants along the 5K route. They were instrumental in making the day a success.
Grant Hill and Gary also teamed up to give water to the runners and walkers at the finish line.
As the 5K came to an end, participants and supporters were full of hoorays and hope.
Together, our passionate 5K participants raised over $138,000! Those funds will help many families receive the support and evidence-based resources they desperately need.
In 2018, the 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!