NAMI Virtual Walk, 5k successful in supporting mental health

NAMI Virtual Walk, 5k successful in supporting mental health
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At NAMI’s Walk and 5k for Wellness, the winner of the prize for the person farthest from Wooster was Daming Zeng from Shanghai, China, a member of the United Titanium Tigers team.

                        

The year 2020 was one of many firsts for NAMI’s Walk and 5k for Wellness. In early March the planning committee was poised to host an event at the OARDC Secrest Arboretum, utilizing larger indoor space and offering a new 5k route, with timing provided by Vertical Runner. By April plans were changing frequently to adjust to the pandemic and limits on mass gatherings.

The event eventually was offered virtually on June 20, allowing walkers and runners to choose their location and to personalize their own way of celebrating mental-health recovery. NAMI provided Facebook Live videos and incentives and prizes to pull this virtual audience together. The event was a success in fundraising and building awareness for free support services provided at NAMI Wayne and Holmes Counties.

The Walk and 5k for Wellness boasted over 200 participants, 19 teams walking and/or running in more than 20 locations, 30 business sponsors, and a total of $67,000 was raised. The event stretched beyond Wayne and Holmes counties with participants from Cleveland, Columbus, Chicago, New York City and Florida. The winner of the prize for the person farthest from Wooster was Daming Zeng from Shanghai, China, a member of the United Titanium Tigers team.

Congratulations to the top-three fundraising individuals: Drs. Dennis and Kathy Helmuth (first), Andrew Bowers (second), and Nancee Kearney (third). The traveling shoe trophy was given to the top-three fundraising teams: Jon’s Squad (first), The Buckeyes (second) and The Country Girls (third). The Largest Team award went to the United Titanium Tigers with 25 in their group.

The Most Creative Route was awarded to the Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce for trekking 7 miles in downtown Wooster at famous locales. The Best Photo was awarded to Zeng, who recorded his route and timing by a river in Shanghai. Alvin Coblentz was the winner of the quilt raffle.

NAMI Wayne and Holmes Counties would like to thank the community for supporting it as it made changes in the event due to the pandemic. The 2020 Honorary Chairs were the Reardons: Michael, Stephanie, Robin and Amy. The committee greatly leaned on their strength, ideas and help throughout a challenging year. The 2020 Business Sponsors are listed at www.namiwayneholmes.org.

All proceeds raised at the Walk and 5k for Wellness stay local, supporting NAMI’s programs including MOCA House Recovery Center, Family Education and Support, Suicide Prevention and Postvention Services, and Crisis Intervention Team Training for First Responders.

For more information on free mental-health support services at NAMI, call 330-264-1590 or visit www.namiwayneholmes.org. Volunteer opportunities are available.


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