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Community shows support of NAMI during successful Walk and 5K for Wellness


From left, Helen Walkerly, executive director of NAMI Wayne & Holmes Counties, Kevin Day, president, CEO of Western Reserve Group and honorary chairman for the event, and Jen Grim, director of advancement of NAMI Wayne & Homes Counties. 

Team Vertava won the Best Photo Contest.

Jon’s Squad was the top fundraising team for the 14th annual Walk and 5K for Wellness.

DGKN staff report

WOOSTER  NAMI Wayne and Holmes Counties hosted its 14th annual Walk and 5K for Wellness on May 22 and experienced overwhelming support thanks to participants, sponsors and community members.

Contributing to the success of this year’s event were 249 participants, 25 teams, and 39 business sponsors, according to a news release. The community showed great support of NAMI and its mental health support and education programs. $88,400 was raised to contribute to free services for local families affected by mental illness. NAMI Wayne Holmes extends its gratitude to all who donated, volunteered and participated this year.

The event continued in the format of “YOU Choose the Location”, to accommodate varying comfort levels of how to gather in the pandemic. In this format, participants showed great energy and motivation to compete in contests offered by the planning committee. The largest teams were: Western Reserve Group (51 participants), Lone Oak Farm (31 participants), and Mighty MOCANs (26 participants).

People walked or ran in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, but the winners of the “Farthest from 44691” contest were: Daming Zeng from Shanghai, China (United Titanium Tigers) and Kelsey Williams and Sebastian Weber from Portland, Oregon (Williams Walkers). The Certified Angus Beef Moovers took the prize for the Most Creative Route contest. Their team walked at Secrest Arboretum, and posted mental health education and statistics related to our local agricultural community on their social media. Team Vertava submitted the winning picture for the Best Photo Contest. The top fundraising individuals were: Kim Hanzie (1st Place), Annette Welday (2nd Place), and Candace Ressler (3rd Place). The top fundraising teams were: Jon’s Squad (1st Place), Mighty MOCANs (2nd Place), and The Country Girls (3rd Place). The winner of the quilt raffle was Lisa Lee, an employee at Western Reserve Group. Many other participants won door prizes donated by local businesses and friends of NAMI. All participants did an excellent job of being creative and building awareness of mental health recovery.

NAMI Wayne Holmes would like to thank Kevin Day, 2021 Honorary Chair, for his leadership of the committee in planning the Walk and 5K for Wellness. Kevin and his team at Western Reserve Group stretched their influence and resources to increase business sponsorships and offered their employees volunteer time to reduce the expenses of the event.

NAMI Wayne and Holmes Counties’ services include: mental health education, support groups, the MOCA House Recovery Program, CIT training for law enforcement, and support for people who have lost a loved one to suicide. To learn more about NAMI services or to get involved in its mission, visit: or call 330-264-1590.


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