Eagle Times May 2, 2023
CLAREMONT, NH – Waving off concerns about possible rain, 500 participants, including hundreds of children, adults and a myriad of dogs, gathered at Claremont Middle School, 107 South St., on April 29 for the 17th Annual Steppin’ Up to End Violence 5K Walk and Fun Run. The event was sponsored by Turning Points Network (TPN).
Each year, the 5K Walk and Fun Run raises money for TPN to provide free and confidential services and resources for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, and sex trafficking in Sullivan County.
Chaired this year by Mascoma Bank, 53 teams and 59 sponsors “Stepped Up” to support the event, actively fundraising, sponsoring and donating raffle prizes. Teams and businesses represented faith communities, social services, first responders, local businesses, and nonprofits.
Top fundraisers for the event included Brenda Shapiro of the Shapiro Schleppers and Linda Martin. Top teams were KCPC Saints and Valley Regional Hospital.
The rally began at 9:45 a.m. with a speech by a victim-survivor and her daughter, who received support services from TPN as they work to transition away from an abusive living situation.
“Could I be stepped on, belittled, or unappreciated any longer? Could I allow my voice and concerns not to be felt and heard? I said and chose no…even though we escaped the situation, we still needed help, and I turned to Turning Points Network. Turning Points reminded me that I can walk my own path,” said the survivor.
More than 30 individuals participated in the 5K “fun run” portion of the event. The top winners were Clifton Cleveland, Hagean Tetu and Gage Bernier in the children’s category; Meghan Soby, Kristi Snider, and Crystal Simpson in the women’s; and Kenny Smith, Norman Lowden, and Seth Quelch in the men’s.
Turning Points Network services are provided 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, all free of charge. The Steppin’ Up fundraiser is a critical lifeline to victim-services who call the crisis and support line to receive peer support counseling and groups, court accompaniment, emergency and transitional housing, safety planning, information and referrals, and financial empowerment services.
This year, the community came together to raise more than $90,000 in donations that directly support victim-survivors and the services of TPN.
For more information, please contact Susan Warner, Communications Director, Turning Points Network, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 603-543-0155.