The 12th annual Hot Chocolate Run in Northampton raised nearly $500,000 for Safe Passage, an organization that helps victims of domestic abuse in Hampshire County.
Thousands of racers took to the streets for the run this morning.
“It’s always something I’ve supported, but never participated in until last year,” Amy Guyette, a participant, said.
Guyette was in an abusive relationship when she was 19.
“I was fortunate that I could ball back to my parents,” she said, of when she got pregnant. “They took me in and helped me. But there are so many women out there that don’t have that support and need it.”
Guyette was alongside thousands of others for the run.
“It really brings it out from the shadows,” Diane Curtis, a participant, said. “I’m old enough to remember when it was something people kept secret.”
For the first year since the race began, the organization expanded the amount of runners and walkers to 6,000 and have raised a record breaking amount of funds for Safe Passage’s various programs.
“We love the Hot Chocolate Run,” Katie Lipsmeier, a participant, said. “It’s a great event. It’s cold but it’s fun!”
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