|'Rise Together' Walks Raise Funds for Freeman Center|
|10:54AM / Saturday, September 10, 2022|
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Elizabeth Freeman Center's fall fundraiser Rise Together for Safety and Justice will include six small walks across the county between Sept. 14 and Sept. 22.
For the third consecutive year, it is taking a different form from the organization's former fundraiser "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes," which featured men walking a mile in perceivably feminine footwear down North Street at the year's last Third Thursday event.
Members of the LGBTQ-plus community collaborated with the EFC to create an event that is representative of all gender identities and sexual orientations.
This year's fundraising goal is $125,000 and the organization has raised almost $75,000 from underwriters, walkers, teams, and individual donors.
The smaller walks aim to provide a more COVID-19-friendly option than one large community walk, give the community several chances to raise funds, and represent the prevalence of gender-based violence across the county.
"Unlike many other programs serving abuse survivors, we have not closed our doors for one day during this pandemic,” EFC Executive Director Janis Broderick said in a press release.
"The world changed; the violence worsened; we remained here providing help and support to those who need us. We expected that as the pandemic abated, the violence would diminish, but I am distressed to report that has NOT happened."
The center has offices throughout the Berkshires and provides direct victim services to more than 3,000 survivors from almost every city and town in the county. It also serves youth through violence prevention programs.
Services are free, confidential, and available 24 hours a day every day via the hotline and include shelter, emergency transportation, counseling, court advocacy, Safe Pet, supervised visitation, and specialized services for immigrants, LGBQT-plus persons, disabled people, and rural survivors.
Six small walks are scheduled across the county between September 14 and September 22 according to the following schedule:
Great Barrington: Wednesday, Sept. 14, 5 p.m.; meet in front of Town Hall
Lee: Thursday, Sept. 15, 5:30 p.m.; meet on the green next to Town Hall
Williamstown: Friday, Sept. 16, noon; meet in front of Tunnel Street Café
North Adams: Monday, Sept. 19, 5:30 p.m.; meet at City Hall
Pittsfield: Tuesday, Sept. 20, 5:30 p.m.; meet at Persip Park at the intersection of North Street and Columbus Avenue
Lenox: Thursday, Sept. 22, 5:30 p.m.; meet at Roche Reading Park next to Lenox Library
To register as an individual or as a team or just to donate to EFC visit: p2p.onecause.com/risetogether.
Participants are encouraged to invite friends, families, and colleagues for support as they walk to ensure safety and justice for all Berkshire residents.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 413-499-2425.