In a special five-part series, CTV News Northern Ontario shares the stories of some of the volunteers behind the annual Five Hundred City event on how they turned their pain and personal struggles into something positive with a goal.
Each episode airs on CTV News at 6 p.m. and will be available on CTVNewsNorthernOntario.ca each night before this year’s event on August 27.
Check back here for new episodes that deal with sensitive topics and how they relate to mental health.
On Monday night, Jennifer Falcioni will share her story of losing her partner to an accidental drug overdose five years ago.
Tuesday night, hear the story of Gerry Lalonde, a 63-year-old biker who found strength and purpose after years of battling drug addiction, criminal activity and prison.
On Wednesday, Kathryn Schwedhelm shares her struggles after leaving home at 13, living on the streets, getting involved with drugs and experiencing different forms of human trafficking. She also talks about her work in the field of addiction and recovery and the current community outreach she is currently doing.
On Thursday, Zak Siivret shares how he learned to combine physical and mental health to manage his emotions after losing his mother to suicide.
Finally, Denise Sandul, the creator of a Sudbury memorial for those who died of overdose at the intersection of Brady Street and Paris Street — Sudbury’s Crosses for Change — will share her story.
Five Cent City takes place in the parking lot next to The Grand nightclub at the corner of Elm and Elgin streets.
It will include a free hip-hop concert, a dunk show with Jordan Kilganon, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, a dunk and basketball shooting contest, live music, DJs, speeches plus free pizza and snacks.
A program for children 12 and under is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The main event runs from 5-10 p.m.
A preview of a previous Five Cent City event:
On Sunday, the core group released a video anthem: