No matter the race, religion, color, creed, where one is born, lives or ultimately dies, we all will suffer loss. How people deal with that loss of life and love is what separates us all. A local and nationally recognized physician and his wife want to make sure there are resources for anyone who needs help dealing with grief and loss.
“This is going to help people,” said Dr. Christopher Edwards about the inaugural EVECE Walk for Life, a 5K walk/run that will take place in Piedmont Park Saturday, Aug. 26. Edwards and his wife, Edrea, who he credits with coming up with the idea for a 5K in celebration of life, are hoping the profits from the event will help people all over the country. Nearly 49,000 Americans died from gun-related injuries in 2021, according to data from the Pew Research Center. The EVECE 5k run/walk wants to help people with access to grief counseling, mental health awareness and support.
“Whether you’re Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, an independent, whatever, one thing we can all agree on is that people with known mental health disorders shouldn’t have access to a gun,” said Edwards.
Running from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The EVECE walk/run event will bring hundreds of people to the park in honor of life. The purpose of the walk, according to EVECE Walk of Life website is to “give empowerment to express our own emotional survival and support in a mental and physical way, while giving a platform and power to our mission.”
Edwards told The Atlanta Voice that there isn’t a single day that someone isn’t in need of help, so why not use his resources to help. “This is about light and what we need to be doing about moving forward,” he said.
The walk/run is being hosted by EVECE Foundation, which was established in 2020. EVECE is a combination of the initials of Erin Victoria Edwards and Christopher Edwards II. The brother and sister duo are the children of Edwards, and the mission of the foundation is to support education in the field of journalism, communications, sports broadcasting and entertainment through scholarships, grants and internships.
Major brands and businesses like Starbucks, Wells Fargo Advisors and ONYX MS are supporting the event, while entertainment will be provided by acclaimed saxophonist Eric Antoine Giles, Brooke Alford, violinist Brooke Alford, Jerry Cooper, Dominique Sierra and Mya Aldridge.
Registration is open until race day. There was a packet pickup party in Buckhead at Road Runner Sports Saturday, Aug. 19. That isn’t the only time runners/walkers will be able to pick up their bibs, t-shirt, and event swag bag. There will be race day availability as well, according to Edwards.
On dealing with grief and loss in his life Edwards said, “You will never truly get through it. It is not possible, but what you can do is stand.”
The EVECE Foundation is currently in the process of looking for organizations that help people and could use financial resources that the foundation has at its disposal. Edwards mentioned that children are often affected in a major way after gun violence or mental health-related violence (or a combination of both) crosses their paths.
There are future plans to allow walk/run entrants to participate virtually in order to help even more people. “We are going to make a difference,” Edwards said.