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Race of Hope 5K Race and Walk & Run to Defeat Depression
Scott Snyder and Audrey Gruss at the Start Line. Photo Credit: Caryn Leigh

Scott Snyder and Audrey Gruss at the Start Line

Photo Credit: Caryn Leigh

On Saturday, February 17th, 2024, the Hope for Depression Research Foundation (HDRF) celebrated the Sixth Anniversary of its Race of Hope 5K Walk & Run to Defeat Depression in Palm Beach at Bradley Park. The event gathered 875 men, women, and children on Saturday morning in Palm Beach to support mental health awareness and urgent research into depression and anxiety. 


The festive event raised a new record of $900,000 for HDRF’s advanced life-saving mental health research into new treatments for clinical depression.  The presenting sponsor for the event was Findlay Galleries.


HDRF Founding Chair Audrey Gruss and Board member Scott Snyder, both Palm Beach residents, served as the Co-Grand Marshals of the 5K walk/run, which started at 8 AM at Bradley Park in Palm Beach. 


“We are thrilled to see so many people come out in support of mental health research,” said Gruss. “I am constantly in awe of our Palm Beach community and their unwavering support for HDRF’s mission to defeat depression.”


She added, “One hundred percent, every penny from today’s race will go directly to life-saving depression research.”


At the starting gun, participants set off to complete the 3.1-mile course starting at Bradley Park, as they took in the beautiful views of the Palm Beach Lake Trail.


Lining up in the start corrals were professional runners, walkers, families with children and dogs, and teams from local businesses such as Livingston Builders, Le Bilboquet, Environment Design Group, Psychiatry of the Palm Beaches, Pure Skin Palm Beach, GEO Group and Marble of the World.


All race participants wore hats, shirts and jackets in HDRF’s signature yellow, creating a sea of sunshine with blue skies and palm trees as their backdrop. The Race of Hope is a USA Track and Field-sanctioned event. 


At the close of the Race, Audrey Gruss presented Awards to the top finishers and to the top fundraisers.  The top Overall Male winner was Sean Clark, and the top Overall Female winner was Niki Desjardin. The Award for Top Fundraising Team went to Team Will, which raised nearly $15,000. The Award for Top Individual Fundraiser from the PB Race of Hope Committee went to 
Mona Nasser, who raised nearly $6,000
 The Award for the Top Captain of the Largest Team went to Team Run for Chey with
39 members.


The Race Director then took the floor to hand out the awards for the other finishers. Second Place for best male time went to Brandon Smith and Second Place for the best female time went to Lilia Drew, Third Place for best male time went to Daniel Yinh and Third Place for the best female time went to Bethany Clark. The top three Overall Masters awards for the male division went to Joe Rodbard for First Place, Eric Capostagno for Second Place and Regis Smeltz for Third Place. The top three Overall Masters awards for the female division went to Shannon Fox for First Place, Stephanie Stevens for Second Place and Emily Helter for Third Place. The Age Division winners included G. Zoumas and E. Lofaso for 12 and under, Sam Frackelton and Coral Sky for 13-15, Noah Debomy and Mackena Gerard for 16-19, Sam Mahlman and Suman Sonty for 20-24, Mathew Hancock and Carly Herbert for 25-29,  Matthew Oleszczuk and Kelli Sullivan 30-34, Duniel Viera and Andrea Filippelli for 35-39, Benjamin Sundstrom and Jill Mahler for 40-44, Leon Pulido and Shannon Duff for 45-49, Scott Olenski and Lauren Stocker for 50-54, Paul Martin and Shelley Flowers for 55-59, Douglas Landau and Wendy Ponvert for 60-64, Tony Candy and Donna May for 65-69, Victor Vasquez and Carol Hassell for 70-74, and Harold Rosen and Susan Robbins for 75 plus.


Committee Race participants included: Alina De Almeida & John Paulson, Louisa Benton, Kim S. Fennebresque, Jamee & Peter Gregory, Martin Gruss, Charles & Kaaren Hale, Yaz & Valentín Hernández, Travis Howe & Mario Nievera, Eleanora Kennedy, Melanie & Roger Lawson, Simone Levinson, Kamie Lightburn, Carole Moran, Teresa & James Remez, Joanna Roland, Jill & Matt Schecter, Scott Snyder, Ginny & David Sydorick, Nicholas Varney and Nancy Yanofsky & Ed Brown.


Junior Committee participants included: Zoë Bullock Cacioppo, Nathan Coe, David-William Coffin, Sarah Cooke, Amanda & Tony Cummings, Samantha Curry, Jennifer Gowdy, Katherine Lande & Kevin Condon, Stacey Leuliette and David-William Coffin, Bryan Ludwig, Elizabeth and Homer Marshman III, Devon McCready, Nick Mele, Mona Nasser, Matt Oleszczuk, Hollis Bradley Pica, Jack Rooney, Kirsten Smith, Ivy Sophir, Jane Stevens, Alanna Sutherland, Eric Viner, Grace & Tally Walker, Sarah & Andrew Wetenhall.


The Palm Beach Race of Hope Committee:


Race of Hope Co-Grand Marshals: Audrey Gruss and Scott Snyder 


Diamond Level Committee: Kelly & Carlo Barel Di Sant ‘Albano, Holly Bartlett, Perri & Robert Bishop, James Borynack & Adolfo Zaralegui, Marvin H. Davidson Foundation Inc., Laura & Brent Nicklas, Teresa & James Remez, Diana Wister


Platinum Level Committee: Annabelle and Denis Coleman, The Philippe and Deborah Dauman Foundation, Kim S. Fennebresque, Jamee & Peter Gregory, Charles & Kaaren Hale, John Hendrickson, Simone Levinson, Caroline & Omeed Malik, Nicola & Jeffrey Marcus, Alina De Almeida & John Paulson, Thomas C. Quick & Michael Donnell, Pat Ryan, Barbera Hale Thornhill, Lynne Wheat, Yafa Signed Jewelers


Gold Level Committee: Pamela Cohen & Nick Korniloff, Julie & Mike Connors, Gita & Mark Costa, Jacqueline W. Drake, The Honorable David Fischer & Jennifer Fischer, Cindy & Chris Galvin, Yaz & Valentín Hernández, Tania & Brian Higgins, Ann F. Jeffery, Y Michele Kang, Melanie & Roger Lawson, Petra Levin, Ambassador & Mrs. John L. Loeb, Jr., Stephanie Loeffler, Robert F. Mancuso, Bonnie McElveen-Hunter & Gil Kemp, Heidi & Tom McWilliams, John & Carole Moran, Travis Howe & Mario Nievera, Pam & Ed Pantzer, Jeffrey Pfeifle & David Granville, Sallie B Phillips Foundation, Marzia Precoda and Lauren Roberts, Tricia Quick, Ginny & David Sydorick, Nancy Yanofsky & Ed Brown


Silver Level Committee Dominique Buaron, Bruce Bierman & William Secord, Cece Black, Geoffrey N. Bradfield, Frances Fisher, Susie & Vere Gaynor, Hilary Geary Ross, Ann Grimm, Joseph Hernandez, Jayne T. Keith, Eleanora Kennedy, Kamie Lightburn, The Honorable & Mrs. Earle Mack, Suzanne Merrill, Muffy & Donald Miller, Sharon Bush & Robert C. Murray, Lucia N. Musso, Deborah L. Okain, Joanna Roland, Frances G. Scaife, Mary E. Snow, Betsy & Wally Turner, Nicholas Varney, Lis Waterman, Clelia & Tom Zacharias, David Zislin


Palm Beach Race of Hope Junior Committee:


Chairman: PJ Quick Pollack


Co-Chairs: Callie Baker Holt, Katherine Lande & Kevin Condon, Mona Nasser, Hollis Bradley Pica, Kameron Ramirez, Casey Taylor, Sarah & Andrew Wetenhall


Committee: Bettina Anderson, Zoë Bullock Cacioppo, Nathan Coe, David-William Coffin, Sarah Cooke, Amanda & Tony Cummings, Samantha Curry, Clementine Goutal, Jennifer Gowdy, Maggi Haigh, Stacey Leuliette, Bryan Ludwig, Elizabeth H. Marshman, Devon McCready, Nick Mele, Turner & Mike Mistretta, Matt Oleszczuk, Jack Rooney, Whitney Lovell Schott, Kirsten Smith, Ivy Sophir, Jane Stevens, Alanna Sutherland, Eric Viner, Grace & Tally Walker


Sponsors: Findlay Galleries, Balmain, Livingston Builders, Robert and Perri Bishop Foundation, Gucci, Saks, Loro Piana, JP Morgan Private Bank, Yafa Signed Jewelers, Press Ganey, Coastal Gardens, Hamilton Jewelers, Marissa Collections, Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary,  The GEO Group, INC, Marble of the World, Smith & Elkin, CPA's, P.A., Environment Design Group, Psychiatry of the Palm Beaches, Gunster, Kirna Zabete, Acanthus International, Le Bilboquet, FIVESTORY, Hamptons, Veronica Beard, PALMER, Tammy Fender, Palm Beach Illustrated and Palm Beach Atlantic University.


About Hope for Depression Research Foundation:


HDRF was founded in 2006 by philanthropist Audrey Gruss in memory of her mother Hope, who struggled with clinical depression. The mission of the HDRF is to spur the most innovative brain research into the origins, medical diagnosis, new treatments, and prevention of depression and its related mood disorders – bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorder, and suicide. The World Health Organization has declared depression as the leading cause of disability worldwide, and yet conventional medications today are outdated and do not fully work for 50% of patients.  HDRF is working tirelessly to improve the mental health landscape for every American.  The Foundation has provided more than $75 million through over 200 grants for breakthrough depression research that promises to transform the way depression is viewed, diagnosed, treated and prevented. Currently, HDRF has a potential new class of medication in pilot clinical trials at Mount Sinai Medical Center, and Stanford University. HDRF is also funding clinical trials into other novel therapeutics and diagnostic tests at Johns Hopkins, University of San Diego, and the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  


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