Hope for Depression will be holding an interactive virtual race this Saturday, May 14th at 8:00 a.m. The event crew has captured all of the excitement and interaction that comes along with race day with their live broadcast. All donations and race registrations will fund depression research.
Executive Director of Hope for Depression Research Foundation Louisa Benton says, “For our first national virtual race, we wanted to ensure that people feel connected in a common cause. This is obviously difficult when participants are scattered all over the country and running on their own.”
Everybody who registers for the race will receive a packet of gear in HDRF’s signature yellow. And for those racers who want to complete their distance at the same time as other racers across the U.S., organizers will host a 60-minute live-streamed broadcast on Facebook at 8:15 a.m. EST on race day. Louisa says, “Our live broadcast will also feature open discussion about depression and treatment, including interviews with the Chief Medical Officer of Talkspace, Dr. Varun Choudhary, and world-renowned neuroscientist Dr. Eric Nestler, Chair of HDRF’s Depression Task Force.”
The mission of the Hope for Depression Research Foundation has always been to fund cutting-edge, scientific research into the origins, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of depression and its related mood and other emotional disorders. Louisa spoke about the history of HDRF, noting that it was founded by Southampton resident and philanthropist Audrey Gruss in memory of her mother, Hope, who struggled with resistant, severe depression. Louisa says, “Every dollar that is raised by the Foundation goes directly to research and to date, HDRF has provided more than $40 million through over 125 grants for breakthrough depression research that promises to transform the way depression is viewed, diagnosed, treated, and prevented. As leaders in this space for 15 years, HDRF is well positioned to address the global mental health epidemic that has been accelerated by the pandemic.”
Hope for Depression Research Foundation hosts several fundraising events each year including the winter Race of Hope in Palm Beach, as well as the upcoming summer Race of Hope in Southampton. There is also an annual HOPE luncheon seminar where the Hope Award for Depression Advocacy is presented to influential celebrities who have shared their own experiences with depression openly. Just a few of the notable past recipients of the award include Michael Phelps, Anderson Cooper, LeAnn Rimes, Ashley Judd, Brooke Shields, and many others.
This event is unique because participants from all over can get involved in this important mission and join in the fun together. Louisa says, “We are excited to see racers from all over the U.S. come together to help advance research into new treatments for anxiety and depression. Our National Virtual Race of Hope will allow us to grow our national audience, providing a chance to participate in this cause with no geographic limitations.”
For the National Virtual Race, participants have the option to walk or run to their hometowns and choose their race distance at 5k, 10k, 15k, a half marathon, or a marathon. All racers will have the opportunity to watch the live broadcast and post comments and photos on the live stream page. All across the U.S. racers can interact and cheer one another on!
Hope for Depression Research Foundation is a cause close to the heart of the East End community. The annual 5k Race of Hope to Defeat Depression in Southampton Village is upcoming this August. Louisa says, “The course is a beautiful 5k (3.1 mile) loop around Lake Agawam in Southampton Village. The race is open to all ages and speeds and walkers are welcome.” To learn more about the seventh annual Race of Hope on August 7th visit https://www.southampton.raceofhopeseries.com/.
In the meantime, tune in this Saturday to get involved in this important mission funding and supporting depression research while connecting with others who care about the same cause all over the U.S. To register or donate for the Virtual Race of Hope visit https://www.virtual.raceofhopeseries.com.