Cumberland Valley High School Students to Host First-Ever 5K for Freedom Walk/Run to Break the Silence on Substance Misuse

Student members of a Cumberland Valley High School club, 5K for Freedom: Break the Silence, have announced their first-ever 5K walk/run on Saturday, September 14, at Cumberland Valley High School, 6746 Carlisle Pike, Mechanicsburg, PA, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Held during National Recovery Month and sponsored by Drug Free Workplace PA & Family Education and West Shore Free Addiction Task Force, the event is open to the public and includes a walk/run, food trucks, exhibits, and on-site resources to educate students, friends, and families about the signs and dangers of substance misuse.

The group, co-chaired by Anike Heller, a Cumberland Valley senior, has taken the initiative to educate their fellow students and faculty, as well as the surrounding communities, and is hosting the 5K for Freedom to raise awareness and donations for organizations like Sara’s House of Hope and the I Care Foundation.

Rep. Greg Rothman, serving the 87th Legislative District, and Rep. Sheryl Delozier, serving the 88th Legislative District, will welcome all participants at 9:30 a.m. and provide updates on programs and resources available to limit prescription opioid abuse and combat the opioid epidemic. Joining them will be Keegan Wicks, Certified Recovery Specialist, with Faces and Voices of Recovery.

In 2016, more than 11.5 million people reported misuse of pain medication. A staggering 130 Americans die every day from overdose, and 1 in 3 U.S. families suffer from the effects of a person struggling with substance abuse. “These are all statistics that we are determined to change in our school hallways and in our neighborhoods,” says Heller.

“September is National Recovery Month, and we hope educating the community will lower the number of people impacted by illegal substances that are damaging not only the body, but relationships, families, and futures,” says Heller. “Organizations like Drug Free Workplace PA and Faces and Voices of Recovery will be joining us to expand our message and reach and to answer questions participants have about addiction and recovery.”

“We are passionate about this cause and strongly believe that our 5K will have a significant impact in the community,” says Parinita Mithepati, 5K for Freedom co-chair. “Our club is determined to help end substance abuse by bringing awareness and breaking the silence on this ongoing epidemic.”

To register for the event or donate, visit

5K for Freedom is a student-run club at Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg, PA. Operating as a 501c3, the students are dedicated to raising awareness and educating the community about the ongoing substance use disorder epidemic in the Commonwealth.