437 Project announces route for second year

437 Project announces route for second year
Published: May. 21, 2023 at 4:40 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The 437 Project has announced its route and dates for its second year running across the state, with a dozen runners looking to complete the 437-mile trek.

The run is a fundraiser for the Helpline Center, raising money and awareness for the efforts of the organization. It’s aimed at promoting awareness for mental health help and suicide prevention across South Dakota.

“Across the entire state, people are struggling. We need money and resources to help people who are willing to ask the question, reach out to a friend, and prevent them from doing something that can have a lasting impact,” Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said, who is also one of the runners for the 437 Project.

TenHaken said last year’s inaugural run was a great success in raising funds for the Helpline Center, and he’s looking forward to joining the rest of the team making the run across the state in 2023.

“One of the coolest ways to see this state is six miles per hour on your feet. You have a great new appreciation for the state of South Dakota when you cross it on your feet, on the backroads,” TenHaken said.

The run will start at the Wyoming border in western South Dakota, and make its way east. The twelve runners will alternate running, making the whole trip in 72 hours to Sioux Falls.

Erica Knips is joining the team this year, after watching last year’s run. She said she realized how much the 437 Project’s goals and her goals align, and was excited to be a member of the team this year.

“I feel like everybody knows somebody that struggles from some form of mental illness or some sort of battle. I feel like I can be an active participant in helping with people that do struggle with it, on their journey to hopefully better themselves,” Knips said.

While the run is daunting, Knips said it’s a challenge she looks forward to.

“I feel like the running portion will just be a bonus of it all. Just the knowing of helping other people around me and making a difference, and being part of the community,” Knips said.

The run kicks off September 21, with the team scheduled to arrive in Sioux Falls on September 24. Information on how to donate to the project can be found here.