FRAMINGHAM – Voices Against Violence (VAV), the domestic violence and rape crisis center serving communities in the greater Framingham and Marlborough areas of Metro West Boston, is hosting its 5th annual Run/Walk to Break the Silence fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 24th in support of the organization’s mission to end sexual and domestic violence.
For the first time, the fundraiser will feature a timed 5K race and a 2K walk that will begin and end at the South Middlesex Opportunity Council’s (SMOC) parking lot, 7 Bishop Street. There is a $25 for all runners who pre-register; $30 registration fee on the day of the event. There is no registration fee for walkers and casual runners.
Check-in and race registration will begin at 9 a.m. at SMOC headquarters, 7 Bishop Street. The timed run will begin promptly at 10 a.m., immediately followed by casual runners and walkers. There will be light refreshments and activities for children before and after the race and walk. The first 250 registrants will receive a free event t-shirt and parking is free in the rear lot at 7 Bishop Street. Medals will be awarded to the top three finishers, along with the male and female winners in each age category.
For the third year, Congresswoman Katherine Clark will serve as honorary chair of the event and will be represented by her District Counsel, Wade Blackman of Natick. Framingham Board of Selectmen Chairwoman Cheryl Tully Stoll will signal the start of the road race and walk.
“The message we have to send to all victims and their abusers is that we are not a community that will look the other way. We are not a Commonwealth that will tolerate complacency, and we are not a nation that cloaks its most difficult problems with silence,” said Congresswoman Clark. “I’m truly grateful for community education and prevention programs like Voices Against Violence. Their unrelenting resolve will help us secure our shared goal to end domestic violence.”
For the past 39 years, Voices Against Violence, a program operated by the South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) has provided free and confidential services to victims and survivors of sexual and domestic violence and their families. In 2015, VAV provided 4389 hours of counseling and case management for 821 survivors and connected 196 survivors with legal assistance. Trained volunteers and staff members spent 387 hours working with 979 victims through the organization’s 24-hour hotline. The KidSpace Supervised Visitation Centerprovided safe and neutral visitation for 56 families.
Mary Gianakis, director of Voices Against Violence, noted that, “Although Voices Against Violence has accomplished much over the past 39 years — helping families to heal from the destruction and heartache caused by sexual and domestic violence – the organization is in need of additional funds to continue its mission.
Our hope is that this family-friendly event will shine a light on the tragedy of family violence in this area, while raising the money needed to ensure that free and confidential support and educational outreach remain uninterrupted.”
Event participants are encouraged to form teams and to ask their friends, family members and co-workers to support their participation by making a donation to their fundraising page so that Voices Against Violence can meet its fundraising goal.
For more information and to register for the 5K Run/2K Walk to Break the Silence, please visit: www.voicesagainstviolence2016.racewire.com