As founder and CEO of Runwell, Linda Quirk and her Runwell team make strides every day to lift the stigmas associated with addiction. By engaging the communities around them and promoting an active, healthy lifestyle, funds are raised to help those struggling with addiction get the help they need.
Runwell’s continuous efforts to encourage dialogue about the disease of addiction have led them to orchestrating the Runwell 4 Life Festival. The event will take place Saturday, November 8 at the University of North Florida’s campus in Jacksonville Florida and will feature a full day of healthy fun activities for the entire family, concluding with a concert by Sugarland’s Kristian Bush.
This Runwell 4 Life Festival is the inaugural event that Linda hopes clone in the coming years, adding one new Festival each year in a different state.
“We want to open the doors for dialogue about the disease of addiction so people can open up about their experiences,” says Quirk, “and we want to show people that you can have fun without substances, opening their minds to happy, healthy lifestyles by letting sport be the substance of choice.”
Quirk is also teaming up with Music that Moves, an organization founded by Sugarland’s Annie Clements and Thad Beaty, that aims to create opportunities for musicians to give back to the communities they perform in by combining healthy activity with positive social interactions. Which is how Kristian Bush became involved.
Runwell for Life is an adventure for the whole family and will include a 5k trail run, a ropes course, zip lines, a rock wall, paddleboard yoga, kayaking, zumba, yoga, archery, fishing and boating safety, lure tying tutorials, healthy food to eat as well as demonstrations in aquaponics, a way of producing food organically by raising aquatic animals such as snails or fish to grow plants in water.
“By enjoying this unique opportunity, participants are helping people in need attain treatment, which helps our communities also,” says Quirk.
Since beginning this journey (solo) in 2005, Linda and the Runwell team and participants have helped raise more than $800,000 toward scholarships to qualified treatment centers so those suffering from addiction can get the help they need.