[KANSAS CITY – JUNE 13, 2018] - Shatterproof, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the devastation the disease of addiction causes families, continued its national “Rise Up Against Addiction” movement in Kansas City on June 9th at Arrowhead Stadium with an inspiring community event. The Rise Up Against Addiction event, which also included a 5K Walk/Run, united over 2,500 people from all over Kansas City and surrounding communities to bring the disease of addiction into the light. Participants honored lost loved ones, celebrated recovery journeys, connected with families affected by addiction, and shared stories of hope.
“It is inspiring to see the Kansas City community rally together and foster a sense of strength and support,” said Shatterproof founder and CEO, Gary Mendell. “It is time to end the stigma around this disease.”
Highlights included a Shatterproof Community Village, which showcased substance use disorder resources from over 20 local organizations; a Memorial Gallery, which featured photos and stories of lost loved ones; and the Celebrate Recovery Area, a space where hundreds of people in recovery celebrated and shared their recovery milestones.
“I was privileged to help honor the thousands of runners who participated in the Shatterproof 5K in Kansas City on Saturday. We’ve got to continue to work together to support those who suffer from addiction—a disease, not a choice—by providing evidence based treatment, prevention, and research,” said Senator Claire McCaskill, who spoke at the event.
Speakers also included Kansas City DJ Jenny Matthews (99.3 FM), who gave an emotional speech about losing her brother to a drug overdose, and former Kansas City Chiefs center Ryan Lilja, who spoke candidly about his path to recovery after developing a substance use disorder brought on by several football-related injuries. KMBC 9 News anchor Steven Albritton served as the emcee for the event.
National Sponsors included: Alkermes and Pacira – Plan Against Pain (Visionary sponsors); Cigna, Indivior, and United Health Group (Signature sponsors); Choice Hotels, Chubb, Dave & Buster’s, Kaleo, Lockton, Mariner Wealth Advisors, Adapt Pharma – Narcan Nasal Spray, Vineyard Vines, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (Supporting sponsors).
Local sponsors included: Mariner Wealth Advisors (Platinum sponsor); BrandMuscle (Silver sponsor); Cowell Insurance Services, Inc., and Nuance Investments (Bronze sponsors); Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, Cobbs Allen, Dentons, Shawnee Mission Health and Wagstaff & Cartmell (Copper sponsors); Price Chopper and Raise the Barr Entertainment (In-kind sponsors).
The Kansas City community raised over $273,000 for the Rise Up Against Addiction 5K Walk/Run event, which will support Shatterproof’s work in advocating for changes in federal and state policy, as well as programming focused on saving lives and changing the conversation about addiction.
Upcoming Shatterproof Rise Up Against Addiction 5K Walk/Run Events
Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the devastation the disease of addiction causes families. Shatterproof works to end the stigma and foster a community of support, providing evidence-based resources to support prevention, treatment and recovery. Shatterproof advocates for changes in policy at the federal and state level and supports the development and implementation of evidence-based solutions for substance use disorders.
About Gary Mendell:
Gary Mendell is the Founder and CEO of Shatterproof. He founded Shatterproof after losing his son Brian to addiction in 2011 to spare other families of the tragedy his family suffered. Mr. Mendell founded HEI Hotels & Resorts, a multi-billion-dollar company that oversees a portfolio of 70 hotels. He’s also a former trustee and president of Starwood Lodging Trust. Mr. Mendell received his B.S. from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and his MBA with distinction from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.