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The Brandon Dukes Memorial 5k is a virtual run that benefits Brandon's House Counseling Center, Inc., a nonprofit organization committed to providing free, professional counseling to youth.
Registration for the event closes on September 30. Participants will run in the month of October and post a selfie with the hashtag #irun4brandonshouse to be entered for prizes. Participant medals and shirts, along with other swag, will be sent out at the end of October.
Brandon’s House is a free counseling center inspired by two special young men. While the founder, Susan Parr, was completing requirements for her Master’s degree in counseling, she worked with a teenage boy who had witnessed his father murder his mother. Due to restrictions put in place by his health insurance, this teen had only limited access to the mental health care he desperately needed to help him face this trauma. As a result, his healing was impacted by the barriers of insurance and cost.
Mrs. Parr was required to write a proposal to complete her degree, and she made the radical proposition that her church, DePauw Memorial United Methodist Church, remodel the old home behind the church to create a counseling center for teenagers - A place where teenagers could come for help for as long as they needed to do so without ever having to pay. The services would be free. While Mrs. Parr was completing the proposal, Brandon Dukes, a 17-year-old member of her church, died unexpectedly from a heart attack. His parents, Larry and Sharon Dukes, graciously allowed the new center to be named after their son.
From the beginning, Brandon’s House has been a local, grassroots agency that focuses on giving back to the people that keep it going. The center is 100% supported by the local community through individual donations, fundraisers, and small local grants. The vision of Mrs. Parr has grown into a counseling center that services about 100 families a year, with no one ever receiving a bill. The center does not bill any insurances or take state or federal funds. The focus is on the people of the community taking care of the families and youth within their area who need help.
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