NAMI Walk back in person on Saturday in Bettendorf

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For the first time in two years, the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will be back on Saturday September 18 in person for the annual NAMIWalk at Veterans Memorial Park in Bettendorf.

Pre-walk activities – including kiosks, live music, dog tent, face painting, and team photos – start at 8 a.m. and a 5 km walk begins at 9:30 a.m. along the Bikeway. Last year, 2020, the NAMIWalk was “virtual” – with supporters doing their own activities, raising around $ 70,000.

This year, there are currently 84 teams and 700 people registered, and NAMI Greater Mississippi Valley is expecting just over 1,000 people in total, Development Director Christina McNamara-Schmidt said on Friday. The initial target for 2021 was $ 120,000; The ambitious goal was $ 135,000, and they have already raised $ 129,000, she said.

Many participants will meet at the Veterans Memorial Park, but if they cannot, they can:

  • Walk over 7,000 steps for 5K their way
  • Plan a day of crafts with their children
  • Organize a virtual cooking with their team
  • Take care of yourself with a favorite hobby: yoga, gardening, knitting
  • Do a 5K on a treadmill or stationary bike
  • Create a safe and socially distanced walk in their neighborhood

NAMI recommends that you take photos and videos, and share your activity on your favorite social networks with the link to your walk fundraising page and the hashtag #NotAlone.

Before the pandemic, in any given year, one in five people in the United States reported having a mental health problem. Mental health experts suggest the figure is now two in five or even more, according to NAMI. The marches aim to bring together hundreds of people to raise awareness about mental health and raise funds.

A participant in the 2018 NAMI Walk at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport.

On Saturday, due to the continuing effects of Covid-19, NAMI is offering both an in-person and virtual version of its NAMIWalks event.

“It’s been 18 months since the pandemic turned our lives upside down with feelings of uncertainty, anxiety and isolation,” said Christina McNamara-Schmidt, NAMI GMV development and operations manager. “We have all been affected in one way or another. Even though we are geographically isolated, we can be united in our common goal of mental health for all and ensure that no one in our community feels alone, ”she added.

To join NAMIWalks Your Way, visit namiwalks.org/greatermississippivalley. There is no registration fee, but fundraising is encouraged. Registration is also possible on site on Saturday, and donations will be collected. One hundred percent of funds raised support NAMI GMV’s free mental health education and support programs designed to help families recover.

NAMI GMV is part of the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

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