These are some of the community members who have banded together for a memorial mud run on Sept. 14 in Mexico to raise money to fight addiction. Rumford Falls Times photo by Bruce Farrin


The Adam Gatchell Memorial Mud Run, with the theme “Burying Addiction in the Mud,” will be held on Sept. 14 in Mexico to raise money to fight addiction. Rumford Falls Times photo by Bruce Farrin


MEXICO — A memorial mud run to raise money to fight addiction will take place on Saturday, Sept. 14.
The Adam Gatchell Memorial Mud Run, with the theme “Burying Addiction in the Mud” will be held at 456 River Road, Rt. 2.
Bonnie Gatchell said the event is being held in memory of her son, Adam Gatchell, 29, who passed away on August 22, 2018.
With emotion in her voice, she said, “I lost my son to Fentanyl poisoning last August due to his opioid addiction.”
“I wanted to make this mud run happen because mud and trucks were among his favorite things. And I wanted to do this to raise money to help people with addiction,” said Gatchell.

Proceeds going to Larry Labonte Recovery Center
Gatchell said the idea for a fundraising mud run event went as far back as last October, “because I didn’t want his death to be for nothing.”
At about this time, Lonnie Labonte and his mother, manager Kathie Williams, were leading an effort to start the Larry Labonte Recovery Center (LLRC), a resource center for people dealing with addiction, mental illness and other challenges.
Gatchell said all proceeds from the mud run will be donated to the LLRC.
Williams said construction work is underway for the facility, planned for part of the building at Arbe’s Carpet Center, 412 Waldo St. in Rumford.
The LLRC is a tribute to former Arbe’s owner, Larry Labonte, who died in 2015, who struggled with addiction throughout his life, according to Lonnie.
Williams said fundraising for the LLRC, a 501c3 organization, is ongoing, with a goal of $25,000 to get it going.
“We’re up to $14,000, with more donations coming in. This event is going to be huge for us,” she said, adding that they’re also looking to get grant funding.

Community effort going into event
Gatchell, owner-operator at Gatch’s Food & Spirits in Rumford, sought the help of Dan Richard to help launch her idea because “he’s the guy that makes things happen in this town.”
Richard joked that he stopped a Gatch’s for lunch one day “and here I am doing a mud run.”
Once it was decided to have a mud run, he said the only place to have it was in Coulthard’s Field, the site of mud runs several years ago.
The problem was that over the years, the field had all grown back in, which included bushes, high grass and poison sumac that needed to be removed.
Richard said doing the needed prep work on the site included Kenrick Thibodeau and Andre Carrier with the excavator, volunteers from the Mexico and Rumford fire departments, with more than 40 hours of bush hogging from Jamie Dolloff.
He noted that Craig and Rebecca Coulthard of Coulthard’s Pools & Spas “have been super great about working with us.”
But beyond these volunteers are many more in the community doing their part to make the event a success.
Gatchell noted, “I have a lot of special people in my life. I really do. It’s really heartwarming. I think it’s going to be a great thing, raise a lot of great money. But mostly, I just want something good to come out of something bad.”
If it goes over well, Gatchell said she would love this to become an annual fundraising event.
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Be a part of the Adam Gatchell Memorial Mud Run

This will be a redneck style mud run — anything goes. A mud run of an estimated 300 feet, the contest is to see who can go the furthest the fastest.
Classes will be for trucks/cars, daily drivers, and a class for ATV’ers.
Registration for the Sept. 14 mud run in Mexico begins at 7:30 a.m., with the vehicles “hitting the mud” by 10 o’clock.
Participant admission is $20. Spectator admission will be $10 for adults, $5 for ages 5-12, and free for those under age 5. A family of four or more gets in for $25.
To bring attention as to why they’re having the mud run, staff event members will be wearing shirts of teal, the color of the addiction recovery awareness. They will also be putting out teal ribbons at the event and there will be teal bracelets as well.
They will be selling Adam Gatchell Memorial Mud Run event t-shirts. There will also be mud run and LLRC bracelets.
Kathie Williams of the Larry Labonte Recovery Center will have an information table about the LLRC and what it will offer.
Kimberly Money said her son, Evan, and his fellow basketball travel league Wolves players are running a kids’ event during the mud run, which includes a battery-operated Power Wheel run.
There will be a 50/50 raffle, as well as raffles for items such as a corn hole game and a wishing well.
Available will be breakfast sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, and bacon wrapped grilled chicken.
There will also be a baked goods tent, with treats such as brownies, cookies, cupcakes, doughnuts, squares and fudge.
There is a Facebook page — Adam Gatchell Memorial Mud Run — with an event page and a page for people willing to volunteer.
This event is drug/alcohol free. Violators will be removed from the event.

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