October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. A group of over 120 runners, walkers and even baby strollers recently honored the month at the Hands Are For Helping 5K fun run on Marco Island. With the starting line at the Shops of Marco, the racers bound their way through the rolling hills of the Sheffield-Granada-Dogwood area of our island.
The brainchild of Tina Nash, the event raised funds for the Shelter for Abused Women and Children in Naples. Nash said, “I just saw a need to educate people on domestic violence. It happens to so many women (one in four). People don’t talk about it. I wanted to bring it out in the open. I want people to know it isnever the victim’s fault and that they should never be afraid to speak about it and seek help. The only way to break the cycle is to break the silence. The Shelter has many great programs and is truly there for women and even men that find themselves in need.” The Shelter is unique in that it even allows those in need to bring their pets with them. The Shelter maintains a confidential 24-hour crisis line at 239-775-1101.
You have heard the expression “It takes a village.” Well, in this case, it took an island. In the true Marco Island spirit of generosity, sponsors for the event were Clausen Properties Rental, Inc.; Darcie Guerin, Raymond James; Jessica Hernstadt, Esq.; Coastal Breeze News;Connectivity Me; Law Offices of Hodge and Snyder; Island Paradise DJ; Island Tower Dentistry; Jump Hair & Nails; LuLaRoe Meredith Helgren; LuLaRoe Michele Sessa; Law Office of William G. Morris, PA; Tina Nash, Morgan Stanley; Kevin O’Fee, Edward Jones; Publix; Revival Yoga Fitness Studio; Starbucks; and Tammy Miloro, Mary Kay. Participants and other members of the community donated toys, clothing and toiletries for the shelter – enough to fill three big boxes!
First across the finish line was Laura Bogan, pushing her 3-month-old baby boy in a stroller. She was followed next by Okan Aykar and Karen Gsell. Susan Linn placed first in the youth category.