SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)- A run/walk for mental illness stepped off this morning in Lackawanna County.  

The 6th annual “five Kate” Katie Shoener memorial walk/run was held at Nay Aug Park in Scranton. 

Proceeds from the race go to the national alliance on mental illness. “Nami” partnered with the Katie Foundation along with Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine for this fundraiser.  

Shoener suffered from bipolar disorder and took her life in 2005.  

Organizers want to bring more openness and awareness to the community about mental health.  

 “There is so many people that are suffering, especially after this pandemic that we have been in for so long. So it is just so important to me to be able to have this opportunity to share with others need to have more compassion and openness and people need to be able to feel that they can and not be afraid of the stigma surrounding mental illness,” said Sarah Shoener, board member of the Katie Foundation. 

More than 400 people participated with many encouraged to dress up in costume since Katie Shoener’s birthday fell on Halloween.