MUSCATINE, Iowa–Since opening NextGen Motors earlier this year, the Greenhaw family has sought out more opportunities to give back to the community they love. “When we bought the building and the land and started our business, NextGen Motors, we thought that this could be a platform for things we care about,” shared Denise Greenhaw. As their first community event, the NextGen 5K for Mental Health aims to bring people together to support both local and regional organizations that work to improve people’s mental health every day.
When the Greenhaws started thinking about putting on their first fundraiser, supporting mental health awareness appealed to them strongly. “I think the biggest reason for me is the importance it has for me, my family, and the community, and I don’t think it’s talked about enough,” said Shalyn Greenhaw.
“I’ve had some friends in college and in football that if I hadn’t opened up to them and been vulnerable, I would never have known about their situations,” added Drew Greenhaw.
To help raise awareness about common mental health concerns and the importance of seeking treatment for them, NextGen will have speakers from the M;caela’s Hope Foundation in Muscatine and the Gray Matters Collective in the Quad Cities speak. They will also donate all the proceeds from race entries and raffles to these organizations to help them continue their work in the greater Muscatine area.
This year’s NextGen 5K for Mental Health will begin with registration and packet pickup prior to the day’s featured speakers greeting and inspiring participants at 9 a.m. All participants will also receive a race shirt and door prize, while supplies last. The race will officially kick off at 9:30 a.m., with competitors running or walking down Cleveland street through the HNI parking lot, and then down the trail from behind the Muscatine Mall to Weed Park and then back again. The top three placers in each age bracket in both the men’s and women’s divisions will receive medals to celebrate their accomplishments. To further support M;caela’s Hope and the Gray Matters Collective, all runners can purchase entries into several fun drawings for outstanding prizes, such as a gift certificate to Cryo Wellness of Muscatine and a voucher for a free massage from Healing Compass.
The first ever NextGen 5k for Mental Health will take place Sept. 17 and both start and end outside their showroom at 310 Cleveland Street in Muscatine. Participants may register online via NextGen’s Facebook page or by stopping into the showroom to request a paper application. To add an extra layer of fun and moral support to the race, people may also register as part of a team too. Those who would like to register in person the day of the race may do so as well beginning at 8:30 a.m.
A unique way to support mental health awareness and resources, Greenhaw urges everyone interested to come to this year’s race and to help make it into an annual event, ” to show support for each other.”