CEDARVILLE — Cedarville University pharmacy students will partner with local nonprofit The Jeremiah Tree at its annual 5K BridgeWalk on 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23.
The family-friendly walk will begin at Xenia Station. As part of the event, Cedarville students will hold an educational session on the dangers of opioid addiction, while also encouraging 5K participants to be a “seed of hope” in the community.
“The purpose for the walk is twofold,” said Marlene Labig, president of the Jeremiah Tree board of directors. “First, the Bridge Walk is one of our primary fundraisers. Second, it’s educational. This year, the walk is about addiction and all the problems that come along with it.”
During the walk, students from Cedarville’s student chapter of the American Pharmacy Association, GenerationRx and the Student National Pharmacy Association will be stationed at educational checkpoints, offering information on topics such as recognizing the signs of addiction, prescription and recreational drug abuse, statistics about Greene County drug addiction and treatment options.
Cedarville nursing students will also staff the first aid station at the walk.
“The Jeremiah Tree Walk event has a message that needs to be spread around in a million different ways,” said GenerationRx co-chair Stephanie Wu. “This event is just a part of spreading awareness on the gravity of addiction. The walk is not only for the addicted, but also for those who love and care for them.”
The Jeremiah Tree strives to help those in the community struggling with homelessness, poverty and/or addiction. Its Tree House men’s recovery ministry provides full-time, residential counseling and training for men struggling with addiction. The Jeremiah Tree believes that true change cannot happen without spiritual transformation.
“As a university, It’s exciting to partner with community organizations that have their heart’s desire to encourage spiritual transformation and intervention in a problem like this,” said Cynthia Burban, director of community engagement in the school of pharmacy.
“We all hear about the national drug addiction crisis and often wish we could do something about it,” added pharmacy student Sarah Piraino. “The BridgeWalk is a wonderful opportunity to do that by supporting a faith-based organization that fights drug abuse right here in Greene County.”
The walk is open to everyone in the community, including families and children. The online registration fee for youth is $10, and $25 for adults. Anyone can download a 5K pledge sheet to raise money to support the Jeremiah Tree, and those interested in volunteering should call 937-562-3121 or visit its website.