Binks Fun Run Shines A Light On Addiction

Binks Fun Run Shines A Light On Addiction

If you’re a parent, just the thought of your child dying terrifies you. The very notion of the loss is horrific, the endless agony and sorrow unfathomable.

And so when someone tells you about the death of his or her own child, you quite naturally say something like, “I cannot even imagine it.”

Because you can’t.

A frequent sight on Lake Norman, Kurt Binkley’s 35-foot /Donzi was front and center during the inaugural Binks Fun Run For Addiction Awarness.

A trucking company owner in Troutman, N.C., who lost his 23-year-old son, Travis, to a heroin overdose in 2019, Kurt Binkley has a ready response.

“Be thankful you never have to,” says Binkley, who launched the inaugural Binks Fun Run for Addiction Awareness on Lake Norman in North Carolina last year. “Because it hurts.”

The two-day event is slated to return to the popular waterway June 14-15. Current backers include BRP Marine Custom in Denver, N.C., and the entire Shutter family behind the company.

“Genuine and truly great people like Kurt just don’t come along often,” said Chad Shutter.  “Hearing firsthand what he had been through with the loss of Travis really puts things into perspective. A lot of people don’t think about it or choose to ignore that addiction is a horrible, difficult issue to deal with. And it affects more people than most folks know.”

Nicknamed “Binks” by his friends, Travis Binkley became addicted to opioids in his late teens after a couple of automobile accidents left him with chronic back pain. When he could no longer acquire prescriptions to feed his addiction, he turned to heroin.

Said Kurt Binkley of his son, Travis, “He was the kind of kid who tried to save everyone else, even when he was in trouble. But he couldn’t save himself.”

The younger Binkley battled the addiction for several years before landing in a Miami-based treatment facility and therapeutic group home. But his struggle with the disease continued.

Seven days before he died, his father drove to Miami to visit him. With his insurance for treatment running out, he had found a facility in California that would accept him and he was preparing to make the move. To help him find work in the area to save money before he left, his father bought him a moped, they spent two days assembling it, and the younger Binkley found a job.

Work pulled his father back to North Carolina. He was still concerned about his son but guardedly optimistic about his current path.

“It was the happiest my son had been,” said Binkley, who has a 30-year-old daughter named Lindsay and turned 58 years old two days ago. “The night before he passed, he sent me an IM and it read, ‘I got this, pop. I am done with this shit. I will make you proud.’

“And the next day he was dead,” he added softly.

A member of the BRP Marine Custom family, Ohio’s Chad Werab (gray hat) ran his 39-foot Dragon V-bottom in the inaugural Binks event. Photos courtesy/copyright Mike D In Action.

Per the name of the upcoming fun run Binkley founded, the event exists to raise addiction awareness. BRP Marine Custom will be back on board as a backer.

“Losing a loved one to addiction is something that no one can ever just ‘get over,’ and being around someone like Kurt has been a huge part in understanding that,” Shutter explained. “BRP and its extended family is happy be a part of this event and fortunate to play a part in helping families in need that are dealing with these situations.

“The inaugural Binks Fun Run for Addiction Awareness went off great last year, and we only hope to make it better this year and for years to come,” he added.

Binkley never stops thinking about the disease that claimed his son’s life. He knows that ignorance around addiction is as widespread and as the epidemic itself, and that knowledge fuels his passion to shed light on the issue. The process begins, he explained, with understanding.

“People call addicts all sorts of things like ‘the slime of the earth’ and all that, but that isn’t the case,” Binkley said. “They are often just good people with a bad problem. Travis was just another young and innocent American kid. He always held the room with his jokes and his humor. But he was an addict. He was the kind of kid who tried to save everyone else, even when he was in trouble. But he couldn’t save himself.

“My goal is to help other families,” he continued. “I don’t want anybody else to have to go through this—it happened five years ago and it still brings me to tears every day. The only thing I can do is help other families going through this thing and help them understand, though Binks Addiction Awareness, that they have an avenue. It’s not all about insurance. The facilities I deal with are not about insurance.”

Binkley paused for a moment. “I have learned more about addition than I ever wanted to,” he said. “This could be your son or daughter, your brother or sister. I want people to be aware not just of addiction, but of their options.”

The inaugural Binks Addiction Awareness Fun Run on North Carolina’s Lake Norman attracted 35 boats.

Related stories
Cowboy, Indian And Stowaway On Board For 2024 Poker-Run Article Series
Toys Tour 2023 ‘Best One Yet’
On The Waterfront—Properly Hitched In North Carolina
Barrie Rejoins Statement Marine
Brotherly Love And The First 500R-Powered Statement Marine 360 Catamaran



Boat Lyfe