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Public Safety Day includes 5K run/walk for mental health

Photo courtesy of Sheriff Curt Pennala During the Keweenaw County Sheriff Office Public Safety Event, a group of children watch a demonstration of the Jaws of Life cutting up a vehicle.

KEWEENAW COUNTY — Keweenaw Support 4 Healthy Minds, in conjunction with the Keweenaw County Sheriff Department, announces the Shine the Light 4 Healthy Minds 5K run/walk fair, taking place Saturday, June 29, at Eagle Harbor Township Park, followed by the annual Keweenaw County Public Safety Day. The walk/run event is a fundraiser for Keweenaw Support 4 Healthy Minds.

Keweenaw Support 4 Healthy Minds is a local group dedicated to talking more openly about mental health, building a resilient community, and supporting at-risk individuals, states the Keweenaw Community Foundation. Its mission focuses on suicide prevention by reducing stigma, educating the public about mental health and substance use disorders, and supporting individuals at risk of crises. Keweenaw Support 4 Healthy Minds is a Special Project of the Keweenaw Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity.

The group has held several community events working toward their mission, including the Be Kind to Your Mind!, Youth Fair in January 2024, which provided local youth ages 12-19 with the opportunity to engage in activities that benefited emotional and mental well-being.

“We collaborated with both the Keweenaw Support 4 Healthy Minds and the Keweenaw Community Foundation,” Keweenaw County Sheriff Curt Pennala said.

Pennala said the concept for the run/walk as a fundraiser was the result of seeing the need to support KS4HM.

“They’ve been doing a lot of work in our community at different events,” Pennala said. “Some of the marketing stuff they’ve been doing has been coming out of their own pockets.”

The intention is to create an event that only highlights the work that they do, but also to assist in financially supporting their efforts.

Registered race participants are scheduled to pick up their packets at 9 a.m. The race starts at 10 a.m.

Immediately following, the Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Public Safety event will start at 11 a.m. and continue to 2 p.m. at the Eagle Harbor Township Park. It is the annual Public Safety Day, said Pennala.

“We’ve changed the location this year from Mohawk to the Eagle Harbor Park, so that our event will be on the same day as the run, and in the same location,” Pennala said.

The event will be the same as in the past years, he said, with the ever-popular bouncy house, kids games, free hot dogs, pop, chips, as well as a chance to explore fire trucks and police cars, and to play basketball with police officers.

The various fire department and first responder groups — Mercy Ambulance, EMFs and equipment will be on display.

“That’s the event where we can put on a different hat for the day and really get involved with the kids and the public,” said Pennala.

Pennala encourages people to sign up for the race.

“We’ve gotten a lot of businesses that have given door prizes, so we’ve really got a lot of cool stuff to give away,” said Pennala, “but registration is really down.”

The day’s event schedule is:

• 9 a.m.: Racers pick up race packets

• 10 a.m.: 5K race starts

• TBA: Kids Dash starts (ages eight and under)

• 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Public Safety event

For anyone interested in registering for the race, visit bit.ly/ks4hm-5k.

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