CHADS Coalition to sponsor run/walk

Third annual event benefits local group preaching teen-depression awareness

By BILL MILLIGAN

A local non-profit organization will sponsor its third run/walk this weekend to raise money for research into adolescent depression and suicide.

Communities Healing Adolescent Depression and Suicide, or CHADS, Coalition for Mental Health will sponsor the run/walk at 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, at the upper Muny parking lot in Forest Park. Adults can participate in either a 5-kilometer run or a 3-kilometer walk.

The trail is stroller-friendly. A 1-kilometer run will be offered for children. Registration costs $20 for the run/walk.

CHADS Coalition is dedicated to advance the prevention and knowledge of adolescent suicide through research, advocacy and education in the Midwest.

Co-founders Marian and Larry McCord of Oakville started the organization after their son Chad, 18, lost his battle with depression in April 2004.

Proceeds from the run/walk will go toward local suicide-prevention programs and research into teen depression and suicide.

“Treatment works,” Marian McCord told the Call. “The money we raise will fund a research project in 2008. This walk is about raising hope for our kids.”

More children die from suicide in the 15- to 19-year-old age group than the top six medical causes of death — such as cancer and heart disease — combined, according to information provided by CHADS.

“Larry and I decided to put our pain in a positive direction,” Marian McCord said. “This is Suicide Prevention Week and we’re really excited about our efforts.”

On Sunday, awards will be presented to the top overall male and female runners.

Medals will be given to the top finishers in each male and female age division: 14 and younger, 15 to 19, 20 to 24, 25 to 29, 30 to 34, 35 to 39, 40 to 44, 45 to 49, 50 to 54, 55 to 59 and 60-plus. All finishers in the 1-kilometer run will receive a ribbon.

To download a registration form, visit www.chadscoalition.org.

Forms and fees can be mailed to CHADS Coalition, P.O. Box 51028, St. Louis, Mo. 63151. Make checks payable to CHADS Coalition. Online registration is available at www.active.com. A $3 fee will be added to online registrations.

“This is about raising hope for children,” Marion McCord said.