We had good weather for the inaugural West Michigan NAMIWalk despite the stormy forecast. This walk was the result of a partnership between NAMI Michigan, NAMI of Kent County, Active Minds, and Davenport College. We set a lofty goal of $50,000 for our first year. Not only did we exceed our goal, but somewhere between 350 and 500 people came to our first walk. This partnership is off to a great start!
Kevin Fischer, Executive Director of NAMI Michigan, welcomed everyone to the walk. We had a number of other speakers.
- Linda Rinker, Executive Vice President for Academics and Provost at Davenport University,
- Rhae-Ann Booker, Executive Director of Diversity at Davenport
- Karen Daley, Dean of the College of Health Professions at Davenport.
Short talks from:
- Scott Gilman from Network 180
- Kait Theisen of Active Minds.
Then, a brave mother shared her story with us. It was a story of how stigma, lack of knowledge about mental illness, and the system we have now failed her son and her family. She lost her son, but she’s determined to educate as many people as she can so someone else doesn’t have to lose their child. With that reminder of why we were there that morning, we had a fun warm-up with a dance team and then off to walk our 5K.
We had a number of teams…
And a variety of t-shirts.
and as with any good walk…
We were joined by some dogs.