13th annual Hot Chocolate Run aims to prevent domestic violence

Event includes 2 mile walk, 5k fun run, and 5k road race

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Thousands of people bundled up as they prepared for a cold run Sunday morning in Northampton.

6,000 runners and walkers are participating in the 13th annual Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage. This event is being held to help save people from domestic violence.

Kristin Metcalf, a participant said “we know people that have needed help so we’re really glad to be doing something that mights help them.”

Many participants told 22news this event is incredibly significant and important to them, because they have been victims of domestic abuse. Sarah Goff said “My sister and I started running this a couple years ago, and we do it becuase we want to stand up against domestic violence…we have both been in situatiuons we wanted to get out of its very important and very near and dear to our heart.”

Betsy Loiki told 22News she participates in the Hot Choclate run every year in memory of her friend Karen. “One of my friends was murdered in a domestic violence situation by her husband.”

This run is raising funds for survivor support, outreach, and prevention at Safe Passage, which is an organization that provides justice and hope for survivors of domestic violence.

The event includes a 2 mile walk, 5k fun run, and a 5k road race.

Since the event began in 2004, funds raised through the Hot Chocolate Run have made it possible for Safe Passage to maintain and expand its inclusive, multicultural, and social justice-oriented approach to survivor services and prevention. This year the hot chocolate run for safe passage raised 575,000 dollars, which is 90 thousand dollars more than last years event.

Marianne Winters, Executive Director of Safe Passage said “Who they’re supporting are victims and survivors of domestic abuse, people who are in our shelters and the people in the community want to do something about it.”

“It’s so amazing to see how many people come out and support this organization and how much support there is for the community that has suffered from domestic violence.”