Saturday, October 4th, the Greenville University Women’s Soccer team participated in the 12th annual 5K for Peter’s Place. The Lady Panthers work at this 5k in honor of their assistant coach, Heidi Koehl and her family’s loss. Peter’s Place is a Christ-related foundation utilized to emphasize the importance or assisting others in need. This foundation especially focuses on the drug-associated issues in the community.
Assistant coach Heidi Koehl shares what this race means to her and her family. “My brother passed away when I was eleven of an accidental drug overdose. After that, we had a vision to begin a home for young men who struggle similarly to Peter. Peter’s Place is going to be a home for young men that struggle with alcohol and substance abuse and/or mental illness.” With this being said, drug overdoses and usage is highly overlooked in today’s society. It is hard to imagine losing someone beloved to a substance or mental illness that they couldn’t find readily available assistance to overcome. The Greenville Lady Panthers have participated and/or worked various Peter’s Place 5K events because it shows how supportive the team is of each other. Even throughout the dark and rough times in life, they will be there for each other.
Peter’s Place is more than just a home for those who don’t have anywhere else to go, but it is an opportunity to learn about Christ. Although the fundraiser has only been up and moving for 12 years, it is rapidly growing, says Heidi Koehl. “We now have a board of directors who are helping put that into place with raising funds. The event this past weekend was one of the annual fundraisers.” Peter’s Place is on its way to host bigger and better events to reach more people from different areas.
Over the years, the Peter’s Place fundraisers have made a remarkable difference in the community by offering assistance to those who need it and by allowing others to hear the heartbreaking yet hopeful story of Peter. Koehl explains that the fundraisers have been successful, however, “we don’t necessarily have a numeric goal at the moment, but we had a good turn out. Essentially the goal of it is to raise funds and to raise awareness of the struggle in our community and the need for such a home in the Metro-East area.”
This fundraiser will hopefully make a huge turn around in the number of drug users and decrease the rate of death caused by drug overdose. As a Christ-centered fundraiser, it will allow participants to learn how to love everyone for who they are. Whether someone is struggling with a drug addiction or a mental illness, Christ taught people how to treat others and love them as God would.
Koehl communicates her reason for her love of being apart of this fundraiser. “The biggest thing for me is obviously being a part of something bigger than myself and to hopefully make a difference or make an impact in other people’s lives who are struggling with either the exact same thing as Peter did. We just kind of want bring hope to his story and bring some good from a tragedy in his memory and honor as well as make a difference in the community for those who are struggling with addiction.”