Co-Grand Marshals Scott Snyder and Audrey Gruss cut the starting tape
Mother Nature tried but failed to deter hundreds of intrepid souls who came out in pouring rain and hurricane wind for the Hope for Depression Research Foundation’s (HDRF) Inaugural Palm Beach Race of Hope 5K on Sunday, January 27, 2019.
While a nearby state fair saw a rare closing for weather, more than 300 participants of all ages gathered at 8 AM at Palm Beach’s Royal Poinciana Plaza to walk or run the 5K Race and take a stand for depression awareness.
The 3.1-mile Race began at The Royal Poinciana Plaza, the event’s lead sponsor, and continued along the North Lake Trail and through the streets of Palm Beach. Along the way, participants were greeted by signs with words of encouragement from celebrities, including Anderson Cooper, Lorraine Bracco and Brooke Shields, who have been honored by HDRF for speaking out about depression.
Hope was in abundant supply as everybody wore bright tech shirts and matching caps in HDRF’s signature sunshine yellow. The USA Track and Field-sanctioned event raised over $275,000 to fund groundbreaking research into the causes of depression in the brain and new and better treatments.
Meanwhile, just across the bridge in West Palm Beach, the South Florida Fair was closed for weather for the first time in over ten years.
Speaking from the starting line, HDRF Founder and Chair Audrey Gruss said, “There is a native American saying that says, ‘Anybody who thinks sunshine creates happiness has never danced in the rain. Depression is the number-one reason in the world for disability, and the leading cause of suicide.”
Scott Snyder, who along with Audrey Gruss was a Race Co-Grand Marshal, then added: “So we want to thank you all for coming out to dance in the rain with us today. Our research is leading to discoveries that can turn the tide on depression and suicide in this country.”
Following the race, Audrey Gruss and Scott Snyder presented medals for best times in various age categories. John Schilkowsky won the best time in the Adult Male category, Stephanie Pezzullo won best time in the Adult Female category, and Dylan Pitchford took home the Youth award.
Gruss then presented awards to the top individual fundraiser Trish Glowacki, and an award for Top Fundraising Team Sister Sledge, which included Trish Glowacki, Kimberly Bitterman and Kristina McCooey.
The Race of Hope comes to Palm Beach as part of a multi-city expansion after three years of success in Southampton, NY. The next Race of Hope will take place in New York City on April 7, 2019. It will then continue in Southampton in the summer.
You can view wonderful photos of the day by following the link below:
You can view all of the finisher times by clicking here
Thank you again to ALL our event donors, participants, and volunteers. Your commitment to HDRF’s critical research mission is making a world of difference.