North Florida's regional counseling and referral hotline got a big boost from local runners on Saturday (6/2). Officials with 211 Big Bend are also hoping the organization's good reputation won't be tarnished by not-so-reputable hotlines elsewhere.
Runner Michael Tennant took first place in his age group during Saturday's run.
"It's a great venue here in Railroad Square," he remarked as the top finishers received recognition. "Going through Cascades Park and all for a good cause. It's a lot of fun to get up on a Saturday morning. My daughter ran the one-mile race. Lots of activities for the kids, so we had a good time."
211 Big Bend Executive Director Randy Nicklaus said the event raises public awareness.
"As it also helps us raise funds for our agency," he continued. "We need more discretionary funds like this generates so we can do the things we need to do to support our volunteer program as well as the whole service of the agency."
But some private, so-called "hotlines", mostly in South Florida, have been referring people with addictions to fly-by-night treatment centers. Nicklaus worries that legitimate, not-for-profit operations like his might be hurt by the misbehavior of scammers hundreds of miles away.