Wow! What an amazing day Saturday turned out to be. Record-breaking attendance, record-breaking fundraising totals, and perfect weather. A huge thank you to whoever ordered up the gorgeous sunshiny day for our Stop the Stigma 5K!
We had a crowd of more than 500 individuals, families and even some dogs at the 44th annual event. This number includes 366 race finishers and more than 70 volunteers. The race, held each spring at the Kennedy Center in North Quincy, gets families and individuals running and walking on a scenic race route as we try to break down stigmas surrounding mental health.
Participants run (or walk) in support of friends, family and neighbors living with mental illness or addiction. We raised more than $40,000 this year, funds that will go to Interfaith’s programs, including The New Directions Counseling Center. New Directions offers nonprofit counseling services on a sliding scale, ensuring that everyone is able to receive care regardless of their health insurance status or income.
We’ve heard so many moving stories in the last few weeks about how mental illness and addiction issues touch so many of our race participants, clients, friends and families. We hope that this event gets even more people talking about mental health and breaking down the stigmas surrounding it. Talk about it! Educate others! And get help for yourself and others when needed!
Saturday’s event included the race, which takes a winding route through Quincy’s Squantum neighborhood and along Boston Harbor, and a spirited post-run Family Fun Festival. Festivities included a delicious lunch, including pizza and subs donated by Balducci’s House of Pizza and Unchained Pizza, beverages from Polar Beverages and Ocean Spray and frozen treats donated by New England Ice Cream.
Following the 5K, kids took part in a Fun Run, Dave and Busters‘ Street Team had fun giveaways, WROR had out their prize wheel, and the kids exhausted their leftover energy on the bouncy house provided by Busy Bee Jumpers. Kaleidoscope Art & Entertainment decorated runners with air brush tattoos, Kids Party Productions made balloon creations and kids of all ages participated in face painting and the kids’ craft table, kindly organized by our race committee.
This year we offered several ticketed games, with chances to win fun prizes such as toys and gift cards. And the always popular raffle sent winners away with restaurant gift cards, overnight hotel stays, sports memorabilia and much more.
We’re so grateful for support from the local businesses and individuals that help make the event possible, including backing from platinum-level sponsors Arbella Insurance Foundation, Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan and DST Systems, Inc., and gold-level sponsors Bay State Federal Savings Charitable Foundation, Bank of Canton and Quincy College.
Our fantastic photographer, Christine Hurley of Hurley Event Photography, captured so many incredible images from the day. You’ll see several here and even more over on our Facebook page. Thank you, Christine!
Save the date for next year’s Stop the Stigma 5K: Saturday, April 27, 2019.
It’s never too late to support this cause! Donate Now.