The Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities (ACHC) Oakland County chapter of Families Against Narcotics (FAN) held their First Annual Run Drugs Out of Town event on Saturday, September 19, 2015, at Boulan Park in Troy, Michigan. Over 150 participants braved the wind and rain to unite against drug addiction, honor lost loved-ones, and celebrate those in recovery.
The mission of Run Drugs Out of Town is to raise awareness of the growing problem prescription drug and heroin addiction, and to bring families and community members together in support of one another.
Judge Linda Davis of 41B District Court in Macomb, and founder and president of the Fraser chapter of FAN, kicked off the event and rallied the crowd when she said, “It’s time to stop treating addiction as a crime and treat it for what it is – a disease.”
Miss Oakland County 2015 Kaitlyn Krizanic, whose platform is youth drug and alcohol abuse education, emphasized the importance of early prevention. Krizanic is also a member of the Birminghamg Bloomfield Community Coalition as part of their student athlete program.
The North Oakland VFW Post 334 Color Guard presented the American Flag during the opening ceremonies, and Cedric Ross sang the National Anthem.
Team Angel Wings for Angie, a group created in memory of Angela Martin, who lost her life to an accidental overdose in July 2014, was the run’s premier sponsor. Angel Wings for Angie held a fundraising concert in May 2015, with half the proceeds going to the ACHC.
New Life Media donated a large video monitor that played Do Your Part: Be the Solution PSAs, made in partnership with Oakland County Community Mental Health Authority. The television spots, being played on cable channels throughout the month of September, include appearances by educators, law enforcement officers, young adults, community partners, and Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard.
Mi-HOPE (Michigan Heroin Opiate Prevention and Education) members brought their traveling memorial quilt for display. Participants were encouraged to write the names of lost and recovering loved-ones on a fabric square, which will be added to the quilt.
Senior citizens to toddlers enjoyed the festivities, despite the weather. Volunteers grilled hot dogs for the hungry runners, and staff from California Pizza Kitchen Somerset prepared fresh corn guacamole, on site. Children tossed around a football, played catch, splashed in puddles, and blew bubbles on the lawn.
Other run sponsors included WMU MetroDetroit, Easter Seals Michigan, Recovery Consultants Inc., Detroit Ink Art for Life, Oakland Family Services, Training and Treatment Innovations and Scott & Itoh Machine Co.
Connect with the ACHC on Facebook to see more photos from the event.
The ACHC Oakland County chapter of FAN offers five monthly meetings, in regions covering all corners of the county including Lake Orion, Clawson, Farmington Hills, South Lyon, and Pontiac. More regions are slated to begin in the coming months. The meetings are open to the public. For more information on locations, dates, times, and topics visit www.achcmi.org and click on the Events page.