Five hundred or more men, women and children participated in the 10th annual Love Without Fear Walk-a-Thon hosted by the Minot Domestic Violence Crisis Center at the Minot State University Dome on Saturday.
Dena Filler, executive director of the Domestic Violence Crisis Center, said the turnout was great and she's hoping that the walk raised between $15,000 and $20,000, which will go to the nonprofit foundation. Money is invested and interest payments are spent on various programs. Filler said it's important for the Domestic Violence Crisis Center to keep fundraising and have money tucked away for a rainy day in case other funding sources bring in less revenue.
"Last year we had close to 2,000 contacts," said Filler, which was 500 more than in 2009.
Photo by Andrea Johnson/MDN
People walk during the Love Without Fear Walk-a-Thon hosted by the Minot Domestic Violence Crisis Center on Saturday at the Minot State University Dome.
Filler attributed the increase in people contacting the center to a growing population and growing awareness of the problem of domestic violence.
The center serves Ward, McHenry, Pierce and Renville counties. It offers an emergency shelter, crisis counseling for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, information and referrals to other agencies that can offer counseling or housing assistance. The center offers groups for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and a children's group for children and adolescents who have witnessed domestic violence. People who have battered others in their household may be referred for counseling through another agency.
During the annual fundraiser walk-a-thon, there was music, refreshments, children's activities and door prizes. There was a clothesline project with T-shirts made by survivors of domestic violence or in memory of victims from North Dakota.
One T-shirt read "Ladies Don't Cry. You got to keep your head up." Another read "Why am I a scapegoat?" Yet another, in memory of a victim, read "R.I.P. TD 1994. She thought death was her only way out."
Filler said services at the Domestic Violence Crisis Center are intended to help break the cycle of violence so the violence doesn't continue into another generation.
People formed teams and collected pledges prior to the walk.