FORT MILL — More than 500 runners and walkers came out to support the Davis family and Keystone Substance Abuse Services at the first annual Joe Davis Memorial Resolution Run Saturday .
The run began at 9 a.m. in Walter Elisha Park in Fort Mill. Runners had the option to participate in the 5K run or the one-mile fun run.
This run is not a resolution, its a revolution, Janet Martini, Keystones executive director, said to start the run.
The run was in memory of Joe Davis, a man who struggled with addiction and died from an overdose. Davis family sister Melissa Boyd, brother Chris Davis and mother Kristen Davis Rhyne organized the run to bring awareness to this issue.
If I could put a face to this disease and show that this is a normal family and this happened to us and maybe preventing it from happening to someone else. That was the whole point and to just put it out there, Boyd said.
The Davis family and Keystone were able to attract 15 sponsors to help support the cause, allowing all the proceeds to benefit Keystones services.
Carolinas Medical Center Pineville was the main sponsor for the run. However, many local businesses and people allowed for an excellent morning.
Bob Doster, a well-known local artist, sculpted and donated all the trophies given to the top runners in each category.
One of Melissas goals from the beginning is to gain enough sponsors to fund the run, so all of the proceeds could go to Keystone to help people get back on their feet, Martini said.
The run was a way to break the stigma for this issue. The support from the community exceeded our expectations.
When Keystone and the Davis family set an initial goal for the run of 250 runners, they never expected the close to 575 people who showed up to compete.
When there is a good cause like substance abuse awareness, it brings people out to not only support it but also for their own personal goals, runner Laura Gerhardt said.
Along with families and individuals who ran in the race, the cause drew several organizations that came out to lend support.
RunningWorks.org is an organization that assists homeless people. It paid the entry fees for some indigent runners who couldnt afford it.
A run is a fantastic resolution. It puts the goal into action, said Mike Kahn, a member of RunningWorks. The run brings attention to a wonderful cause. It allows people to turn a new leaf for the New Year.
START2FINISH Event Management helped direct on the run, which kicked off a four-part Resolution Race Series. The next run is The Village 10K on Feb. 2.
As the run came to a close, the Davis family seemed moved by the communitys support.
Words cannot describe how much this means to our family, Boyd said. All I can say is truly thank you so much. It means so much.
There were multiple age categories for both male and female runners, ranging from under 14 to 65 and older. The top male runner was Brandon Hudgins with a time of 16.55. The top female runner was Siobhan Havlik with a time of 22.07.