EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – Hundreds of people came together in East Palestine today for the Road 2 Recovery walk and 5K. The event raised money for the community and even got help from an NFL Hall of Fame legend.
“It’s one step in front of the next,” said Steelers Hall of Famer, Jerome Bettis.
Bettis joined the United Way of Northern Columbiana County and its community partners for the Road 2 Recovery hometown walk and 5K.
The goal of the event was to accomplish two things: the first, bringing hundreds here to East Palestine to help support the local businesses that were impacted by the derailment. The second, making sure there was funding for youth initiatives and programs for kids that live here in the village.
Road 2 Recovery already had raised over $140,000 through community donations and sponsorships.
Organizers wanted to make a statement showing they are not letting tragedy define them.
“East Palestine will persevere, we will lead through the adversity that we have faces. And we will make sure that our kids learn from this valuable lesson on what it takes to overcome an obstacle,” said Matthew Werner, the Road 2 Recovery coordinator.
Bettis shared a similar sentiment, saying the people of East Palestine will push on step by step.
“It’s going to show everyone that this area is going to roll through recovery and it’s great to see,” said Bettis.
The United Way says they plan on giving the event proceeds to youth sports, robotics programs, and a new Civic Pride initiative they have in the works.