The History of our Memory Walk / Recovery Run – April 2022

The History of Our Memory Walk / Recovery Run

 

Our biggest event of the year is our Memory Walk / Recovery Run. It started out relatively small in 2016 and has since grown:

-In 2017, white chairs were photographed to symbolize those lost to addiction (this was also used in Rage’s very own “We Are Not Alone” film, which shares stories of five families who have lost loved ones from drug overdoses. Check it out here.)
-In 2018, participants formed a heart for our event photograph, which symbolized love.
-In 2019, Brandon Novak (of ‘Jackass’ fame) spoke about his journey from addiction to recovery.

Over the last two years, dealing with the domino effect of Covid proved to be difficult in many ways. With just a few days advanced notice, we had to hurriedly cancel our April 2020 in-person Memory Walk / Recovery Run as many places around the state began to shut down. We launched our first virtual event on April 4th, 2020, asking our followers and supporters to walk their neighborhood streets and local trails to bring awareness to the devastation of addiction and to also shed some hope that recovery is possible. Many people shared with us their powerful stories, videos, and photos, and donations continued to pour in. Though it was not what we envisioned, it turned out to be an amazing way to spend a Saturday morning.

We were still unable to host an in-person event in 2021, but with more planning time and in partnership with Charm City Run (in Bel Air, MD), we were able to create another virtual piece. With a “route” to Ocean City, MD, this virtual event stretched all through the month of April, bringing in families from all over the country. We had total of 370 participants: 287 people signed up as walkers and 83 people signed up as runners, establishing 36 teams. There were 34 individual fundraisers and 17 team fundraisers that took in approximately $23,000. We also had a Pop Up Shop on March 30, 2021 at Charm City Run in Bel Air, MD where participants picked up their RunKits and purchased Rage Against Addiction merchandise. Through the month of April, we read stories and saw photographs of love, loss, and hope. It was a humbling reminder that addiction touches the lives of so many people, regardless of where they are from.

The morning of April 9th, 2022 may have started out rainy and continued to be chilly through the day, but our Memory Walk / Recovery Run was filled with warmth. Many families gathered together at Cedar Lane Regional Park in Bel Air, MD for the first time since 2019!

At our in-person event on April 9th, we had 61 runners and 398 walkers. Our first place winner received a medal and an Amazon gift card, and our second and third place finishers received a medal as well. We had many powerful and inspirational speakers that shared words of pain, love, and truth. Old Line Grill provided participants with delicious burgers, and Coffee Coffee donated warm drinks, which was perfect for the chilly morning. It was exciting and long overdue for families to come together to meet face-to-face in this never-ending battle to end addiction. We recognize that addiction ravages families all over the world; we all know someone affected by it, which is why we know how significant it is for all of us to join together to erase the shame that comes with addiction, to support those who are directly struggling with it, to celebrate those who are in recovery, and to remember the lives lost to this horrifying epidemic.

Our virtual piece ends on April 30th. There is still time to check out the details of this unique aspect, to donate to a fundraiser, and to see shared photographs of those who are supporting us.

 


We gather, hug, walk, and run to support friends and family who have been affected by the disease of addiction. This is always an emotional day. Providing awareness and support is our mission, not only through our programs, but through our recognition that the pain families go through when they have loved ones who struggle is traumatic. We also believe that those who experience the loss of a loved one as the result of addiction continue to grapple with its complicated grief. Finding the right support is the key to recovering from all aspects of addiction.

 


In Other News

H.E.R. Legacy Scholarship

In memory of Hannah Ellen Runge, the H.E.R. Legacy Scholarship is established by Hannah’s mother and brother who wish to support students who have been impacted by the struggles of alcohol and drug addiction. This is a $1,000 annual scholarship. Those who are interested must:

-be enrolled as a credit student at Harford Community College (in Bel Air, MD)
-have a 2.00+ cumulative GPA
-be a Harford County, Maryland resident
-enrolled in any degree program
-have a need for financial aid (though not mandatory)

Please visit the Harford Community College website for more details on this unique opportunity.

Contact learningcenter@harford.edu with any questions.

 

Coffee With Rachel

Hey everyone. I’m Rachel B., Program Director and Peer Recovery Coach at Rage Against Addiction. Each week, I’m going to offer you experience-based wisdom that I have learned from my own road to recovery and from others who are on the same path. Whether you’re in active addiction or in recovery, or you’re struggling in other aspects of life (because, let’s face it…life can be hard sometimes), please tune in Monday mornings to receive something that you can brew over, apply to your life, and share with others. So grab a nice cup of coffee and pour in some positivity using the words to live by from those of us who have risen above the difficult times we’ve faced.

If we can do it, so can you! Check us out each Monday!

You can find these insightful tidbits here:

-Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Rageagainstaddiction

https://www.facebook.com/Rage-Against-Addiction-Local-Chapter-1-Harford-County-114933967002307

-Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/rageagainstaddiction/


Community Resources

 

Addiction Connections Resource: A non-profit organization that assists with providing resources and support for addiction treatment and that educates the community about substance abuse disorder. Located in Fallston, MD. Please visit here or call 443-417-7810 for more information.

Ashley Addiction Treatment: An inpatient treatment center that personalizes clinical programs based on individual need. Located in Havre De Grace, MD. Please visit here or call 800-799-4673 for information about online and in-person meeting services.

Celebrate Recovery: A local support group for those with addictive behaviors. Located in Bel Air, MD and Joppa, MD.​

-Mt. Zion Church (1643 Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21015) – every Thursday at 5:45pm. Contact lheitmuller@zoominternet.net or visit here for more information about meetings.

-Mountain Christian Church (New Life Center 1802 Mountain Road, Joppa, MD 21085) – every Friday at 6:00pm. Please visit here for more details.

GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing): A local support group for those who have lost someone to addiction.

-7:00pm on the 2nd Wednesday of each month.

-Located in the Education Building at Mt. Zion Church – 1643 Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21015

-Contact lisa.craig4@verizon.net for more information. The private national Facebook group is available. Please visit here to ask to join.

The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center: A clinic that provides immediate care for mental health and addiction. Located in Bel Air, MD. Please visit here or call 410-874-0711 for information about services.

Loving An Addict: A local support group for family and friends of those in active addiction.

-7:00 pm every Saturday.

-Located in the Education Building at Mt. Zion Church – 1643 Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21015

-Contact lisa.craig4@verizon.net for more information.

​We serve locally but think globally. For counseling, or for addiction, substance abuse disorder, or mental illness treatment, please contact your area’s health department, county government, hospital, or law enforcement agency.


Rage Against Addiction Programs

 

Daughter’s House: Designed to assist women who are transitioning from substance abuse treatment to recovery; includes two sober living houses (Daughter’s House and Sister House) located in the suburbs of Harford County, MD. Click here to visit the Facebook page.

Rage Club: Designed specifically for children affected by addiction to help them process their feelings and learn about the disease by offering counselor-led activities, such as equine and art therapy, nature walks, and more. The group meets several times a year. Click here for more information

HALO (How to Live Without Our Addicted Loved One): An online grief support group specifically for those that lost loved ones to substance abuse. Click here to ask to join the private Facebook page. *Please read and answer the membership questions prior to joining.*

RAA ABC (After Baby Care): Provides post-partum care packages to new mothers in early recovery.


Rage Against Addiction Team Members

 

Wendy Beck Messner: Founder and Executive Director

Rachel Bongiorno: Recovery Coach and Daughter’s House Program Director

Mia Ellis: Newsletter Writer and Administrator

Amanda Buddenbohn: RAA’S ABC (After Baby Care) Coordinator

Tara Kuzma: Chairman of the Board of Directors

Sarah Hoover: Rage Club Event Coordinator and Volunteer

Michael Nesline: Rage Club Mascot