Runners and walkers get ready to move at a prior year of the Chris Voiers Bath City Memorial 5K Walk/Run in Mount Clemens. SUBMITTED PHOTO By Jameson Cook, The Macomb Daily
Event organizer Jenni Guarino, right, with her sister, Lesley Wilkiamson at last year's run. SUBMITTED PHOTO
For the first time, the annual Chris Voiers Bath City Memorial 5K Walk/Run in Mount Clemens will charge a fee to runners so proceeds can help battle drug abuse.
Participants in the event, dedicated to the memory of Chris Voiers, who died of a heroin overdose, will pay a $15 fee, which will be donated to Fraser-based Families Against Narcotics, which has several chapters in Michigan.
"We wanted to raise some money to donate to a local group that helps those who are struggling (with drug addiction) and their families," said organizer Jenni Guarino of Mount Clemens.
Guarino's father, Bob Voiers, ran the event for the first five years. He died suddenly of a heart attack in January. Guarino decided she should take over the run in honor of her brother Chris and her father's effort, and to help in the fight against opioids addiction, including heroin.
Chris Voiers appeared to be in recovery from heroin addiction in December 2010 when he relapsed and died of an overdose, Guarino said. He was an avid runner and was training for a marathon at the time of his death at age 31. He ran cross country at Mount Clemens High School.
The run is held each year on the Sunday closest to his birthday.
Downtown Oktoberfest in Mount Clemens also will be taking place the same weekend as the run. Guarino suggested that after the run participants can stay for lunch at the Rec Bowl, 40 Crocker Blvd,, in Mount Clemens, near where the run will start at 11 a.m., or trek the short distance downtown to enjoy Oktoberfest.
She described the run's route as "very pretty," taking place all on residential streets.
Run participants will receive a T-shirt.
Guarino said she is hopeful that 100 or more people will participate as 50 have already registered.
Guarino said any business that wishes to set up a vendor table or anyone who wishes to volunteer should email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.