The 5K & 10K Age Group Top 3 Finishers 2020

The Second Annual Safford Lions 5K and 10K Community Mental Health Awareness Run will be held Saturday morning, Oct. 23 at the EAC Discovery Park Campus.

Bring your family and friends to run, walk, jog or race around the computer- timed, 5K groomed path circling Discovery Park. The 10K begins at 8 a.m. and the 5K at 8:30 a.m. with check-in beginning at 7 a.m. T-shirts are included in the entry fee of $25/person, $20/person for family groups of four or more and $30/person on event day. Children 10 and under are free.

Medals for the top 3 male and female age competitors in the under 17, 18-25, 26-35, 36-45, 46-59, & 59+ Masters age group categories will be awarded. The fastest overall 5K & 10K male and female runners will also receive medals.

With Halloween just a week later, the six best costumed kids or adults win medals. Just as last year, all profits from the event will be distributed locally for mental health services by the Safford Lions.

Registration is available on Eventbrite, locally at or call Mike Garcia at 928-432-1430.

Residents of Graham County enjoy spectacular scenery, a moderate cost of living, very good schools and medical care, a mild winter climate and great friends. With all the positives there are also significant problems and challenges.

Over 4% of Arizonan’s suffered from significant mental health problems, 8% of adolescents and adults struggled with substance abuse disorders, and 17.4% drank excessively in 2015, according to Data USA.

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported Graham County had the lowest death by suicide in Arizona with 10/100,000 persons which is half of the statewide rate. There is no acceptable rate since every life is precious. There were eight drug-induced deaths in Graham County in 2017.

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During 2019 in Arizona there were 57,000 opioid overdose hospitalizations and 1,350 deaths. Graham County’s death rate was lower than the statewide rate by half. The average cost for a hospitalization was $12,000. The average cost of a traditional funeral is $9000. The value of a human life is priceless.

The Safford Lions with major support from Eastern Arizona College, United Way of Graham and Greenlee County, Eastern Arizona College, Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, Canyonlands Healthcare of Safford, Arizona Complete Health, Kempton’s Chevrolet & Buick, The Graham and Greenlee County Substance Abuse Coalitions, Ice King, Farmer’s Insurance Kevin Ticer of Custom Upholstery Services, Innes Insurance, Vista Recycling, Carpet, Tile & More and Firing Pin Gun & Pawn are hosting the event.

Last year’s successful event allowed the Safford Lions to donate $2,000 to the EAC Counseling Center and $2,000 to the Graham County Courts to provide crisis counseling using local mental health professionals.

In addition to participating in the 5K & 10K run, walk, jog or race, donations and sponsorships are welcomed and encouraged. Mike Garcia of the Safford Lions Club is the event director. He can be reached at 928-432-1430 or at

The 2020 event had nearly 90 runners. The 2021 goal is 200 participants. There are numerous regional 5K Runs, but relatively few 10K competitive races.

With cool mornings and a return to normalcy, the timing for this 5K & 10K race, run, jog or walk is ideal.

Come and support community mental health awareness and treatment in Graham County.

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