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Seminoles in Recovery rallies for health, sobriety

5K06HOLLYWOOD — About 60 people gathered in the morning darkness at Hollywood’s Topeekeegee Yugnee (T.Y.) Park Sept. 13 for the fifth annual Seminoles in Recovery 5K Run/Walk.

“Staying sober is staying healthy,” said Helene Buster, director of Family Services who helps coordinate Seminoles in Recovery events. “This is something we do one day at a time.”

Seminoles in Recovery provides support for individuals involved in the recovery process to succeed in their goals and live happy, prosperous lives.

Kenneth Tommie, who is 13 months clean, was determined to finish the 5K, even though he has a torn rotator cuff and has to wear a sling.

“I came out to support the program,” Tommie said. “It makes me feel good. I can’t work out now, but I can walk for my health. It’s all connected: health, sobriety and attitude. This was a good accomplishment.”

The 3.1-mile race featured adults and seniors in running and walking categories.

“I feel good,” said Leon Tommie, who is in a recovery program. “I ran more than I thought I could. I plan to run non-stop next year.”

After all participants crossed the finish line, trophies were presented to the winners in each category.

First place winners were John Cataldi, men’s adult runner; Chad Huckabee, men’s adult walker; Tony King, men’s senior runner; Lenora Roberts, women’s adult runner; Kristi Hill, women’s adult walker; and Helene Buster, women’s senior runner.

“I came out to fight diabetes, get my weight down and get ready for the Indian Day run,” Brian Billie said.

The event raised funds for the seventh annual Florida Native American Recovery Convention, to be held in Clewiston in March.

“We are self-sufficient from the Tribe,” Buster said. “About 250 people attended last year. Tribes come from out of state to be there; it grows every year.”


Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at