This year’s event will take place on April 9 at the Bel Air Athletic Club, and features new student rates, team competitions, fundraising options and a technical t-shirt, plus the return of the free post-race pancake breakfast.
Local nonprofit Friends R Family Foundation will once again host the Danyelle Filiaggi Memorial 5K/Family Walk on Sunday, April 9 to make a difference in the fight against suicide and the stigma of mental illness. The annual 5K/Family Walk is designed to bring greater awareness to mental health in our community and honor Danyelle Filiaggi, who lost her battle with mental illness in 2014.
This year’s event, which is the primary fundraiser for the organization, will take place at 8:00 a.m. April 9, leaving from the Bel Air Athletic Club parking lot and traveling along the Ma & Pa Trail. The event will feature fun pre- and post-race activities for the whole family, including a DJ, access to the Bel Air Athletic Club and a free pancake breakfast for all participants courtesy of presenting sponsor the Greene Turtle of Bel Air. The event will once again feature a community health village, with representatives from the Harford County Mobile Crisis Unit and other mental health and wellness providers on hand to educate participants and spectators about resources in Harford County.
All proceeds from the race go to support local efforts to raise awareness of local mental health resources and to reduce the stigma of mental illness. From race proceeds to date, Friends R Family has provided funds to support mental health first aid training in Harford County; funded advertising for Harford County’s free Mobile Crisis services during Suicide Prevention Month; developed artwork for suicide prevention signage; started development of a mental health resource mobile app; launched the first Friends R Family Mental Health Awareness Club at Patterson Mill High School and funded the renovation of the school’s Huskies Den courtyard; exhibited at school wellness fairs and Healthy Harford Day; and participated in a panel discussion about mental health at Patterson Mill High School.
Race shirts, including the new option to upgrade to a technical tee, are guaranteed to all participants registered by March 23 (availability and sizes cannot be guaranteed for those registering after that date). Awards will be given to the top 3 overall males and females, as well as the top 3 male and female finishers in each age group. New this year, the top three team or individual fundraisers will also be recognized.
Registration for the 5K is $30 in advance or $35 on race day; and $25 in advance or $30 on race day for the one-mile Family Walk. Kids under the age of 18 can take advantage of the special student rate of $15 in advance and $20 on race day.
Sponsorship opportunities are still available; for more information contact Jamie Filiaggi at 443.243.6310 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Sponsors to date include: The Bel Air Athletic Club, The Greene Turtle of Aberdeen, Full House Marketing & Print, DJ Tracy Hart, McComas Funeral Home, MedStar Sports Medicine and Gold Medal Physical Therapy.
Danyelle Filiaggi was a local Bel Air wife and mother who, in October 2014 at the age of 43, lost her battle with mental illness. During her life, she gained a reputation for always working to help others, and the Friends R Family Foundation was formed in January of 2015 in her honor. A Maryland 501(c)3 nonprofit, Friends R Family seeks to bring local, state and national attention to mental illness while also removing its stigma, ensuring that anyone suffering with mental illness has access to the same level of resources and support available for any other illness.