"Running Free" Organization Starts In Watford City

Watford City has a newly formed running organization called, "Running Free." The organization offers two run/walk events: A Suicide Awareness run in September and a Santa Run in December. Both events are designed to be fun and family friendly and they hope to raise awareness of these two important issues in the McKenzie County community.

The organization was created by Heidi Carns treasurer; Ty Skarda president; and Robin Schmidt secretary. All three of them enjoy running and are passionate about growing a healthy community.

Carns, said, "We are just starting to get this organization off the ground and have recently applied for 501(c)3 status with the federal government."

The goal of the group is to provide positive social activities for people struggling with mental health and/or addiction through fun runs and other pro-social events. They hope to raise awareness of both suicide prevention and recovery from alcohol and drugs. 

Carns said, "It is no secret that suicide and addiction are related. According to studies, over 50% of all suicides are associated with alcohol and drug dependence and at least 25% of alcoholics and drug addicts commit suicide. While we certainly understand not all suicides are addiction related, raising awareness of both issues naturally went together in our minds."

Any funds raised are used to help host events and is distributed to memorials formed by families who have lost loved ones to suicide in our geographical area, organizations raising awareness of suicide prevention, organizations involved with drug and alcohol recovery and awareness, and other related groups as determined by the board.

Carns is excited to have fun while promoting important causes and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

The group is looking for like-minded individuals to help grow the organization and increase awareness. If you're interested in becoming a part of "Running Free," email [email protected].


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