Record turnout and funds raised at 7th Annual ruOK? 5K Race and Walk

In a remarkable display of community support and solidarity, Threshold Rehabilitation Services, Inc., in collaboration with Penn State Berks and the Berks County Suicide Prevention Task Force, hosted the 7th Annual ruOK? 5K & 1.5 Mile Walk this past Saturday, March 30, 2024, on the picturesque campus of Penn State Berks.

The event, aimed at raising awareness for the Berks County Suicide Prevention Task Force and its vital ruOK? Campaign, saw an unprecedented turnout, with over 200 participants registering for the race and walk – a record-breaking number in the event’s seven-year history. Participants, ranging from avid runners to families and individuals, gathered to support the cause and contribute to the ongoing efforts to combat suicide in Berks County.

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The ruOK? Campaign, established in 2015, aims to provide essential resources and support for individuals grappling with mental health concerns in the community. Through initiatives such as public service announcements, educational outreach, and community events like the ruOK? 5K, the Task Force endeavors to create a compassionate and supportive environment for those in need.

In a poignant testament to the event’s impact, funds raised during previous editions of the ruOK? 5K have facilitated tangible initiatives, including the installation of benches adorned with the ruOK? logo and a toll-free helpline number at Gring’s Mill, as well as the creation of the HOPE Blossoms mural in Reading. These initiatives serve as visible symbols of hope and solidarity for individuals navigating mental health challenges.

Recent statistics underscore the urgency of the Task Force’s mission, with 81 reported deaths by suicide in Berks County in 2023 alone, representing a 2% increase over the previous year. Tragically, the trend persisted into the new year, with 12 recorded suicides in January 2024, highlighting the critical need for community-driven interventions and support networks.

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This year’s event not only attracted a record number of participants but also garnered unprecedented support from sponsors, culminating in a staggering fundraising total of nearly $15,000. The influx of financial contributions, coupled with the growing community engagement, signifies a profound commitment to advancing the objectives of the ruOK? Campaign and the broader mission of suicide prevention in Berks County.

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Berks Weekly
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