FORT MILL — Some dedicated runners wouldn’t miss a local 5K for anything in the world. Others might skip an event if it clashes with something equally important, say a wedding or football game.
The second annual Joe Davis Memorial Resolution Run, a chance for local runners to compete and benefits a worthy cause, presents no such dilemmas.
The Saturday, Jan. 4, event, a fundraiser for Keystone Substance Abuse Services, begins at 9 a.m. at Walter Elisha Park with a competitive 5K and continues with a 1-mile fun run at 9:45. That leaves plenty of time to compete, get home, shower and plop in front of the TV for the day’s college bowl games.
The Resolution Run is about more than just competing or burning off some holiday calories. It’s about education and spreading awareness of substance abuse and the resources available to help those who need it. It’s about saving lives – a mission made easier for Keystone with the $18,000 raised at the inaugural edition of the race.
The money was used to launch Men Under Construction, a male-oriented out patient rehabilitation program, said Monica Hanna, marketing and event coordinator for Keystone, a not-for-profit organization that serves all York County residents regardless of ability to pay.
Treating men can be a challenge because men are prone to privacy and keep their feelings bottled up, Hanna said.
“It’s important for them to know they’re not alone and don’t have to go through this alone,” she said.
The run is in memory of Joe Davis, a Rock Hill man who struggled with addiction since his teens and died from an accidental overdose four years ago at age 28. He had been sober 18 months and kept his relapse a secret from his family.
Davis’ family was motivated to action because they felt they could have helped him had they known what was happening.
Davis’ sister Melissa Davis Boyd, brother Chris Davis and mother Kristen Davis Rhyne, who have ties to Rock Hill and Fort Mill, organized the event in 2012. More than 500 participated in the first run.
“We ran out of T-shirts!” Boyd laughed, emphasizing that the event exceeded expectations.
This year, the goal is 600 runners . As of late last week, nearly 300 were registered, but Boyd, a runner herself, wasn’t worried.
“A lot of the time, the last two weeks is when people start registering,” she said.
The event, which features amenities such as a photo booth, has gained support since 2012. The number of sponsors has grown from 15 to 25 this year, including several in-kind donors.
All of the expenses are paid for, including “plenty of high-quality T-shirts!” Boyd said, “allowing all the proceeds to benefit Keystone services like Men Under construction, which is where Joe would have gone if he got help at Keystone.”
It’s important to let those trapped by addiction know they have support systems to help, Boyd said. .
“We need to stand beside them and support them and do our best to make sure that what happen to Joe doesn’t happen to anyone else,” she said.
Though she said she’s grateful for the support from local businesses and individuals, Hanna credits Boyd for creating the Resolution Run and making it an annual event.
“She almost single-handily made this happen,” Hanna said.
Michael Harrison • 803-547-2353