On February 15th, 2013, Ari Johnson died by suicide. We lost a friend and the world lost a remarkable human being. Ari was, quite simply, one of the good guys. Everyone who knew him will miss his warm personality, his bright smile, his great sense of humor, and his ability to make a room feel warmer just by walking into it. He is gone too soon, but his presence mattered more than he will ever know. And we will never let him be forgotten.
On June 9, 2013, friends of Ari will run the ODDyssey half marathon in Philly, where Ari grew up, went to college, and where so many of us knew him best. The event will pay tribute to Ari by combining his greatest loves-- sports (13.1 miles is no joke), fun (costumes encouraged!) and food (specifically cheesesteaks, preferably AFTER the race and, in true Ari form, doused in hot sauce).
In Ari's honor, we will be raising money for Active Minds, the incredible organization that aims to fight mental health stigma and put an end to suicide (for more info, visit www.activeminds.org).
We urge anyone and everyone who knew Ari (or who feels connected to the cause) to join Team Ari-- come out and run with us, help raise money for mental health in his honor, or just come spend a weekend in Philly cheering us on, remembering Ari, and raising awareness for a devastatingly urgent and grossly under-recognized cause. And if you DO decide to run with us, please click the "join team" link below to set up your own personal giving page! Whether people donate on the Team Ari page or your own personal page, it doesn't matter-- the money all goes to the same place and in honor of the same person.
To sign up for the race, click here: http://www.oddysseyhalfmarathon.com/
We truly appreciate your support for the mental health cause and for our beloved friend Ari Johnson.
-- Team Ari