March4Minds Color Run 5k
Join us on 11/13/2022(race date estimated)
March4Minds Color Run 5k Race Description
Ryan’s Journey: January 25, 1995 – August 12, 2017
Ryan Layne Howell was a Gainesville teen who had everything going his way in life. He was studying hard in the GHS Cambridge Program, earned a Varsity Letter in Cross Country, voted the “Most Artistic Male” Senior Superlative, earned a Bright Future Scholarship, as well as, had lots of friends throughout Gainesville and a loving family, including his sisters, Ashlyn and Elly Howell at Buchholz High School. Then, around the time of his Senior year, Ryan began to become affected by mental illness and addiction. Ryan and his family used mental health treatment resources in Gainesville to help Ryan; however, his mental illness became so severe that Ryan and his family had to search throughout the state, including Orlando and Boca Raton, for facilities that could treat Ryan’s mental illness and addiction. Sadly, Ryan was diagnosed with Schizophrenia at the age of 20. Once Ryan was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and addiction, referred to as “dually diagnosed”, the treatment facilities that would care for Ryan were very few, very far away and very expensive.
The Howell Family loved Ryan very much and wanted to bring Ryan home to Gainesville. His family searched for a place Ryan could transition to learn how to LIVE with Schizophrenia and LIVE a sober life. There were very limited options, especially for such a young man. Thankfully, a new Healthy Living Home had just opened a new home in Gainesville. They accepted Ryan as their first client who was “dually diagnosed”. Ryan lived there for 14.5 months and was learning how to LIVE a sober life with Schizophrenia as his loving family was learning how to transition as a family and support Ryan in his journey.
Unfortunately, Ryan lost his battle with mental illness at the age of 22 years old. As sad as Ryan’s journey has been, it highlights the need for more access to mental health care and community living facilities that help persons with significant mental illness learn to LIVE a content, peaceful, productive and sober life within our Gainesville community. Ryan’s family established the Ryan Howell Memorial Scholarship, Inc. as a not-for-profit organization to raise awareness and funding to help financially support the care and treatment of individuals who are dually-diagnosed with significant mental illness and addiction so they can LIVE a content, peaceful, productive and sober life in Gainesville, FL.
Ellie Jones, Sophia Butler, and Dillon Menefee are each a part of the DECA program in the Entrepreneurship Academy at Buchholz High School. The goal this year is to raise awareness for mental health/suicide by hosting a "March4Minds" Color 5k. This event will be on November 13th at Trinity United Methodist Church (4000 NW 53rd Ave, Gainesville, FL 32653). There will be a short introduction ad informational speech starting at 9:00, and then the race will start at 9:30 AM. There will be raffle prizes. a picture wall, and plenty of food and drinks for all who attend. Please come out and help to take one step closer in de-stigmatizing the ideas around mental health.
We look forward to your participation in this project that will impact the mental health community for years to come. Please feel free to contact our Registration Coordinator at
If you wish to make a donation, please send any checks to 5745 NW 80th Ave. Gainesville, Fl. 32653 (make checks out to "Ryan Howell Memorial Scholarship, Inc.) or click on the link below.
Get ready for the March4Minds Color Run 5k
- Location: Gainesville, FL 32653
- Race Date: 2021/11/13 09:00:00 AM (Saturday)
- Color Run/Walk 5k