Hope for Depression Research Foundation Raises Over $400,000 in Palm Beach Race of Hope

More than 600 men, women and children raised over $400,000 on Saturday, February 15 at the second annual Palm Beach Race of Hope to Defeat Depression.

The 5K run/walk began at the Royal Poinciana Plaza shopping gallery, followed a trail by the North Lake and then returned through scenic streets back to the Plaza. The USA Track and Field-sanctioned race was led by Race Co-Grand Marshals, HDRF Founder Audrey Gruss, and Board member Scott Snyder.

Hope was in abundant supply as everybody wore bright tech shirts and matching caps in HDRF’s signature sunshine yellow. First out of the gate was the wheelchair division cheered on by the crowd. Then, the competitive runners burst across the starting line at the sound of a horn, followed by first-time runners, walkers, corporate teams, families, children, and plenty of canine friends.

Speaking from the starting gate, HDRF Founder and Chair Audrey Gruss said, “Depression is the No. 1 reason in the world for disability and current medications available only help 50 percent of people. We are so moved by the support from Palm Beach community.”

Gruss continued: “One of the most important things about the race is raising awareness, diminishing the stigma and getting people to talk about it more openly, ultimately saving lives. While research for this subject takes a while, here people are doing something active for the cause.”

Following the race, Audrey Gruss and Scott Snyder presented medals for best times in various age categories. Dixon McDonald won the best time in the Adult Male category and Marie Sippus won best time in the Adult Female category. Paul Totman, 66, was the winner for the Wheelchair Division. Ben Allina and Meredith Woods took home the top youth awards.

Gruss and Snyder then presented Kimberly Bitterman and Kristina McCooey with an award to Sister Sledge as the Top Fundraising Team, raising over $25,000; and presented Linda Olsson an award for Top Individual Fundraiser for raising $1,767. The award for Largest Fundraising Team went to Livingston Builders, with 26 runners.

The next Race of Hope will take place in Southampton, NY on Sunday, August 2, 2020.

You can view all of the finisher times by clicking here.

Thank you again to ALL our event donors, sponsors, participants, and volunteers. Your commitment to HDRF’s critical research mission is making a world of difference.