50th Anniversary 5K raises $140K for Mental Health

On April 27, 850 wonderful souls took to the streets of North Quincy’s scenic Squantum neighborhood to run (or walk) in Interfaith Social Services’ annual Stop the Stigma 5K, raising more than $140,000! After so much rain this Spring, Mother Nature blessed us with sunshine for our community to enjoy while celebrating the 50th anniversary of this event and showing their support for loved ones affected by mental illness and addiction.


Thank you to The Kennedy Center in North Quincy, the gracious host of our start and finish line since 2012. The 5K route winds through the Squantum neighborhood, with picturesque views of the Harbor and Boston’s skyline.

About the 5K

The Stop the Stigma 5K encourages awareness and acceptance of mental health and addiction issues while raising funds for Interfaith’s New Directions Counseling Center. The Center serves anyone seeking counseling but prides itself on being a safety net for the uninsured and underinsured members of our community by offering services on a sliding scale fee system. To further break down barriers to receiving treatment, new clients to the New Directions Counseling Center receive their first four sessions free of charge. The success of this event supports these sessions, and many others, for individuals who otherwise would not be able to afford treatment.

Why We Run

We are so inspired when we hear from our participants about why they support this event. Here are some statements our participants shared when asked, “What is your connection to the mission of Stop the Stigma 5K?”:

  • I have been participating in this run for about 6 years now. My brother has used your services on more than one occasion. He is strong and has been fighting an addiction problem for years. Unfortunately, I also run for two friends who were not so lucky with their addictions.
  • Running helps me process distracting and negative thoughts in a healthy way. Continuous challenges and self-improvement will help you through anything in life. I still struggle some days.
  • My niece lost her life to addiction coupled with mental health issues. I run for her memory. This year, I had her father with me and it means even more to remember her.
  • We have just recently lost our son. He battled with addiction for many years. We believe that addiction is very related to mental illness. We are in the stage where we want to give his life meaning by trying to help others. We would like to get involved with Interfaith in any way that we might be useful.
  • I have benefited from mental health services and am lucky to have good health insurance. Finances and insurance should not be a barrier to people obtaining the support they need. I also lost a close friend to addiction. I suspect that stigma played a role in him not obtaining any help.
  • My daughter has been suffering for years with mental illness to the point of not living a life; sleeping day and night. Still working hard to find help for her. Thank you xoxoxo

Big Thank Yous to…

Our runners were energized up by the great tunes pumping out of our speakers courtesy of DJ Jeff Fowler Productions. A huge shout out to Katie Asack, a group fitness instructor who lead us in a fun pre-race warmup.


Physical therapists from Body Mechanics Physical Therapy and Wellness provided free screenings and helped the runners stretch before and after the race. And Licensed Massage Therapist Solange Connolly provided relaxing massages to our tired runners.


Everyone stayed fueled and hydrated with bagels donated by Gold Medal Bakery & Bagel Boy and water donated by Polar Beverages.

Granite Links’ Food Truck was a fun addition this year offering delicious brunch food options for our participants to purchase! Their food is always top notch!


And finally we would like to give a special thank you to the Quincy Police Department for providing the officers to make sure that everyone stayed safe.



Steve Conte of Quincy was the fastest male, with a finish time of 19:08. Nicole Souza of Quincy earned the fasted female title, with a finish time of 21:27. Ran Cronin of Manchester, NH took gold in the non-binary category. Ronan O’Connor of Quincy earned the fastest youth title in the under 16 category.


Thank you to Our Sponsors

The 2024 Stop the Stigma 5K is sponsored by many generous local businesses, including Anniversary Level Sponsors Arbella Insurance Foundation and Wulfpac Charitable Funding; 5K Level Sponsors The Heritage Companies and Summit Energy; Gold Level Sponsors Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital – Milton, Colonial Federal Savings Bank, Keohane Funeral Home, Mayor Koch’s Office, New England Medical Group and South Shore Bank; and Silver Level Sponsors Abington Bank, Bank of Canton, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Brain Aneurysm Foundation, Dedham Savings, First Congregational Church UCC of Randolph, FoxRock Properties, IntelyCare, Law Offices of William T. Kennedy, P.C., Lawson & Weitzen, LLP, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Point32Health, SIGNET Electronic Systems, South Shore Health, Stop & Shop, United Healthcare and Wessling Architects Inc.


More Photos

Our fantastic photographers, Katelyn Fay and Hurley Event Photography, captured so many incredible images from the day. Check out our photo gallery of some of our favorites on our Facebook page. Thank you Katelyn and Christine!

5K Photo Gallery

How to Help

If you were not able to participate, but would still like to help those affected by mental illness or addiction, you can make a donation.

DONATE $50 for our 50th!

You can also choose to celebrate our anniversary all year long by becoming a monthly donor!

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