In the midst of a devastating opioid epidemic, we need more than ever to shine a light on recovery. On September 9, 2017, we brought together present and former clients, staff members, friends and supporters for our signature event, the 12th Annual Run for Your Life 5K Run & Recovery Walk, to do just that.
What started 12 years ago as a modest group of dedicated individuals crossing the finish line to raise awareness and funds for the recovery movement has grown into a family-friendly day of festivities, including children’s games and face painting, Zumba, health and wellness booths, and refreshments.
More than 1,000 people came out to Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island to show their support for men and women in treatment for substance use and mental health disorders. The event was emceed by WPIX reporter James Ford, who had a “phenomenal time hosting [Run for Your Life] and raising awareness about addiction recovery.”
In a message of support, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said: “Only by ensuring the well-being of all people can New York truly become one city where everyone rises together, and my team and I are taking steps to provide our residents with the care and support they need to thrive. Since its founding in 1967, Odyssey House has been a terrific partner in these efforts, offering residential and outpatient treatment programs, medical and dental care, counseling, job placement assistance, arts programs, nutrition and fitness classes, and more, to people recovering from substance abuse disorders, suffering from mental illness, or living with HIV/AIDS. As my administration continues to implement ThriveNYC – our comprehensive mental health care initiative – and works to equip our residents with the resources they need to reach their fullest potential, Chirlane and I applaud everyone associated with this organization for their complementary efforts.”
Also key in making the day a big success were teams of runners and supporters from New York’s treatment community, corporate sponsors, and volunteer agencies. John Tavolacci, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Odyssey House, thanked them all their support, particularly our ‘Titanium Sponsor’ ChemRx for their “steadfast commitment to recovery programs.”