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Help End Domestic Violence Locally with Upcoming Run, Walk

Melissa S. Treacy

Monday, August 18, 2014 • 3:15pm

It may not require you to dump a bucket of ice water on your head, but is nevertheless a worthy cause attempting to raise both awareness and funds. Instead of the chilly challenge, why not lace up your sneakers for a 5K?

The Women’s Center of Montgomery County will host its annual 5K Run and 3K Walk to help end domestic violence.  Situated on the Montgomery County Community College’s (MCCC) Blue Bell campus, the race and walk will take place on Sunday, Sept. 28.

“Support a great organization, get some exercise and share in a wonderful cause,” explained the center’s Executive Director Maria Macaluso.

The center aims to add awareness to a topic that hits far too close to home.

“The numbers are astounding,” said Macaluso. “It is estimated that 1 in 3 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Domestic violence occurs in same-sex relationships, and men can be victims as well. Domestic violence can affect anyone regardless of race, religion, or income level.”

The fundraising walk and run will begin at 9 a.m. no matter the weather. The rain-or-shine event can accept preregistration available on the Center’s website here.

This year’s events will also include tribute to a local woman who advocated for victims of such violence for years.

Kristine Wickward will be honored for what Macaluso called “her many accomplishments as a committed and passionate legal advocate for victims of domestic violence.”

“Kristin was an inspirational leader who was admired for her skill with people, her knowledge of resources, and her generosity in supporting victims of domestic violence,” said Macaluso. “She lost her four-year battle with cancer on July 13.”

To date, there are a number of area businesses aimed at supporting the county’s cause. Thus far UPS, Temple Health Women’s Care at Elkins Park, Abington Hospital and Phil’s Tavern in Blue Bell have all signed on to sponsor the event.

Those that cannot attend in person to the event can make a donation to the organization via the Center’s website here. In its tenth year, the Center’s event is aimed to raise much-needed funding for the programs that help those of all ages throughout Montgomery County.

Marguerite M. Nocchi, the event’s co-chair, said that this is the tenth year for the event, as coordinated through the Center, and it is not nearly “over.”

“We are committed to ending domestic violence and will continue to have this event until our goal has been achieved,” said Nocchi. “We cannot continue to help victims of abuse and educate the community without your help.”

The Women’s Center of Montgomery County has assisted families in the area, inclusive of Lower Providence Township, since 1976. From a 24-hour hotline, to individual and group counseling, along with legal or medical advocacy, the Center aims to end the trend of violence in the area. The Center has provided assistance and services to over 4,000 victims in 2013 alone, and relies on fundraisers such as the walk and run to operate. There are six locations of the center, throughout the county.

“They are able to continue this wonderful work because of the strong foundation of volunteer support through events like the 5K Run/3K Walk,” said Macaluso.

For more information on the event, call 215-635-7344.

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