Michael Kaspari Honored at Annual Run for Recovery

Family, friends and co-workers remember a man dedicated to helping drug addicts

FARGO, ND — Hundreds of runners flocked to the starting line for another annual 5K for Recovery Month.

But this time, they’re remembering a life at Lindenwood Park.

Michael Kaspari, one of the co-founders of First Step Recovery, passed away in April.

“So are you guys ready?” Governor Doug Burgum asked a group of runners on megaphone.

With every stride comes a moment to reflect on a man who they’ve called co-worker, legend and dad.

“Just the best person that you could ever meet,” said Carly Kaspari, Michael Kaspari’s daughter. “He was funny, caring and kind and just made everything so special.”

After working as a nurse, Michael Kaspari helped pioneer a treatment program for addicts.

“Huge outpouring of Facebook messages and strangers coming up to me and saying, your dad saved my life,” Carly said.

“He was very passionate about treating this disease,” said Patti Senn, a co-worker of Kaspari. “That always came through in everything he did each and every day.”

“I am a nurse at Sanford, so I feel like I’m kind of carrying on his work in that way,” Carly said.

Joining the run is First Lady Kathryn Burgum who says the cause Kaspari fought so hard for is something near and dear to her heart.

“I actually did my recovery treatment at First Step Recovery,” Kathryn said. “So I’m an alum of this great place that he started.”

If Kaspari was able to see the turnout, family members tell me he would be thrilled to see this many locals care about the cause he fought for.

First Step Recovery has been helping people recover from drug addiction in the Valley since 1981.

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