April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. And while many survivors feel alone throughout what may be the toughest ordeal of their lives, a group of concerned supporters for the Dawn Center of Hernando County, a non-profit organization serving survivors of domestic and sexual violence, are making a mad dash to show that they care.
The Dash For Dawn Center Virtual 5K is being celebrated Saturday, April 3 – Sunday, May 2, 2021. This marks the ninth year for the Dash, which this year boasts both a virtual format and a festive and tropical Luau theme. The price is a $30 Race Fee plus a $2.74 SignUp Fee.
“To register for the virtual event, participants can register at https://runsignup.com/Race/FL/SpringHill/DashforDawnCenter from now until May 2,” said Shannon Sokolowski, executive director of Dash for Dawn Center. “The timing of the event was selected because the month of April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The virtual format has some great benefits for participants because they can ‘5k their way’ by running, walking, biking, or any other activity of their choosing!”
This year’s participants will be encouraged to show forth with some Luau love, and with their love for survivors. “We have a tropical theme this year and we ask participants to tag our Facebook group ‘Dawn Center Events’ with their themed photo to show us how they are participating in the event. We even have a printable race bib this year that participants can print and wear to help further raise awareness! The printable race-bib can be found at www.dawncenter.org/events. At the close of the event, all participants will receive an event t-shirt, participation certificate, and goodie bag full of great items from our wonderful local event sponsors,” said Sokolowski.
Although its theme is sunny and light, The Dash for Dawn Center is both serious and vitally important in intent. “The event is hosted by Dawn Center’s Board of Directors as one of only two fundraising events conducted by the organization each year. The Dash for Dawn Center began in 2013 as a means to raise awareness on the issues of domestic and sexual violence in our community as well as raise much-needed funds for services to survivors. The 2020 and 2021 events pivoted towards a virtual platform for the safety of all of our race participants. We hope to be back in person in 2022,” said Sokolowski.
And as folks make the Dash, they’ll be making a real difference. “All event proceeds support Dawn Center of Hernando County, a non-profit organization serving survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Dawn Center provides a range of no-cost services to survivors including a 24/7 crisis helpline, emergency shelter, outreach services (such as support groups, counseling, legal advocacy, legal assistance with injunctions for protection, and economic empowerment programs), as well as community-based prevention initiatives. The goal for this year’s event is $10,000 which will help to fulfill the match requirement of grant funds the organization receives for operational costs. We hope that participants will enjoy doing the distance as they social distance!”