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Family Run for Prevention set for next Saturday

Charity run to benefit the Lee County Coalition for a Drug-Free SWFL to be held Jan. 29 at Jaycee Park

By Staff | Jan 21, 2022

Runners and walkers alike can tie their laces for a 5K to benefit drug prevention throughout the county.

The Family Run for Prevention, titled sponsored by Busey Bank, takes place Jan. 29 at Jaycee Park in Cape Coral starting at 8 a.m. The event features a route along the beautiful Caloosahatchee River and all proceeds benefit the Lee County Coalition for a Drug-Free SWFL and its programs.

“What we like about this event is that it’s a beautiful shady location and a nice cool morning. You can almost pick your own adventure,” said coalition Executive Director Deborah Comella. “You can walk, run, bring your dog, and do however much of the route as you’d like.”

There will be vendors at Jaycee Park providing prevention and business information, along with a deejay, photo booth and more. Each year, the 5K helps provide program funding for initiatives such as Drug House Odyssey, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Red Ribbon Awards, Operation Medicine Cabinet and more.

“We need the community to help us make our kids resilient,” Comella said. “We need parents to talk to their kids. We need after school programs to include prevention. If we can build resilient kids – and it’s not just substance abuse – as they get older, they’re going to be able to make independent decisions. We’re working with all of our community partners to help achieve this goal.”

This year, the coalition is partnering with organizations such as The Florida Thoroughbreds Track Club. Comella said they are working on a public service announcement on anti-bullying.

“They’re going to do something similar to the ‘Running away from vaping’ the Olympic Track Club put together,” Comella said. “It’s great to be able to hear what our kids have to say on the topic.”

WhiteSands Alcohol & Drug Rehab in Fort Myers will host a webinar on what parents need to know about the Internet.

“It’s going to be an Internet 101 course for parents,” Comella said. “We don’t realize the reach our kids have access to online.”

The 5K is a chipped and timed event suitable for all ages and abilities. The first 300 to register ($25) will be gifted a T-shirt.

For additional information on the Lee County Coalition for a Drug-Free SWFL, their programs and to register for the 5K, visit www.drugfreeswfl.org.