Promoters of the recently reinstated Danville Devil Mountain Run announced that the race will benefit a local charity. Profits will be donated to Danville-based Discovery Counseling Center, which provides affordable mental health and substance abuse services through clinic and school-based counseling.
"Discovery Counseling Center is honored to be selected as the beneficiary of this year's Devil Mountain Run. The support from this great community event serves as a reminder of the strong link between our mental and physical health," said Discovery Executive Director Kathy Chiverton.
The well-loved race got its start in 1978 and will return to the streets of Danville on Sunday, May 5 after a one-year hiatus. The run will be held in memory of Allison Bayliss, a San Ramon Valley High School sophomore who lost her battle with depression in May 2011.
Resident Chris McCrary, co-founder of race promoter Katalyst Events, felt strongly about finding a local organization to partner with for this year's race. Keeping fundraising dollars local was an important decision to race organizers, he noted.
"We focus so much of our time and energy keeping our kid's physically healthy -- yet many times we don't focus on their emotional and mental health," he said. "We hope that this year's Devil Mountain Run will raise awareness of the struggles that our kids deal with every day and to let them know that there are resources like the Discovery Counseling Center right in our backyard."
Allison's family has strong ties to the Danville running community, many of which are expected to participate in the fun run, 5K and 10K hill climb. The annual run generally drew 2,000 participants and organizers expect much of the same in May.
"Doing something to help those who struggle, too often in silence, seemed like the best way we could honor Allison," McCrary added.
Discovery's Chiverton said the funds will help her organization continue to provide mental health services to people of all income levels.
"Today, more than ever, we understand the importance of early intervention in coping with mental health challenges. Our goal is to ensure that all in need have access to mental health services and that no one is turned away because of an inability to pay full fees," she said.
For more information or to register, visit www.devilmtnrun.com.