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Finish with Hope 5K raises awareness for addiction prevention

Published: Jul. 24, 2021 at 7:46 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Dozens of people visited Fonner Park Saturday morning to participate in the Finish with Hope Family Fun Fun.

Prevention Project Coordinator Katie Usasz told Local4 News the run helps to give light to the missions of the organizations that hosted the run.

“Tobacco Free Hall County and what the Prevention Project is, they’re both coalitions that partner here in Hall County to have people to sit around the table to really focus in on what we can do as a community to keep our kids from engaging in high risk behavior, be that alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, other drugs,” she said.

Usasz said the run provides the community an opportunity to gain awareness for prevention services.

Last year they had to cancel the run due to COVID, but this year Usasz said she was excited to be welcoming back people out to the annual event.

“We do have some participants that register as part of the recovery program, they’re excited to say ‘you know what, I want to show that I can finish strong, finish with hope and show that community, and people around me that there is hope in recovery,’ and come out and be excited and celebrate that and, it means a lot,” she said.

For Central Nebraska Alcohol and Addiction Council members Ashley Davis and her brother, Bo Vanas, the cause hits close to home which is why they participated in the 5k to show their support.

“We grew up in a family of addiction, struggles with alcohol and addiction for years, and then I too struggled with addiction,” Davis said. “I’ve been in recovery for five years.”

She said she had one thing on her mind during the run.

“All that mattered to me was crossing the finish line because, like, in life, you just don’t quit, and so, that’s what I’ve used,” Davis said. “You know, you might slow down once in awhile, but you don’t quit.”

The siblings both didn’t quit, and finished the race with passion.

All proceeds from the 5K will go towards helping people battle addictions and to educate the youth on the dangers of addictions.

Event organizers said they’re already looking forward to hosting the 5K once again next year.

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