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Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Tri-Valley Haven Races Ahead!

20141011_065953The Tri-Valley Haven’s main awareness-and-fundraising event for the month of October was our Pace for Peace, a combination 5k/10k race that left from our very own little cul-de-sac in Livermore near the arroyo and sent our runners and supporters off across a beautiful fall landscape.  The morning was beautiful and clear, the racers enthusiastic, and the air cool.

In previous years, our Pace for Peace had evolved and changed in various ways.  It started as a very small race originating at the HaIMG_2518ven and coupled with an equally small “Family Fair” with some kids activities and other attractions.  Then, for a number of years, we migrated with it to downtown Livermore and began the race in front of the Panama Red Coffee Company – a great independent coffee place that has long been a fabulous supporter of ours.  In conjunction with that move, we got a bit more ambitious and combined our Pace for Peace with a Block Party.

All of these events were successes in their own way.  But this year, we decided to bring the Pace back home to its origin point at Tri-Valley Haven, and poured our effort into just plain making it the best race we’d ever hosted.

IT WORKED.

We had over 155 race participants and together they, and the people who pledged to support them, raised $12,000 for Tri-Valley Haven’s services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and homelessness.

20141011_072457Work on setting up began before the sun had fully risen – putting out the EZ Ups, getting water and snacks ready – and the all-important balloon arch!

The more people arrived to pick up their runner-numbers or register for the race, the more excited we volunteers and staff became!  We could tell this was shaping up to be our biggest race ever.  And the people…just kept coming!  T-shirts were distributed, with20141011_073442 the first-place winning design on them created by Inna Goiubchik, an 8th grader at Thomas Hart Middle School in Pleasanton. Her vision of a world family, united in peace, won our hearts and her design was so popular that – for the first time ever – we completely ran out of shirts!

P4PArtwork2014 WinnerNot only was the winning shirt design extremely popular, but we had so many great submissions that it was hard for us to narrow down our choices – as a result, we also had a second place winner and three third-place winners in a close tie.  All the kids and teens who placed in the contest came to the race to receive applause and certificates in recognition and gratitude.

Pace for Peace Race Start

At last, it was time for the opening horn to sound, and the runners were off!  First through were the 10k-ers and fastest racers, followed by a stream of laughing and talking walkers.  It seemed like everybody was in a great mood, and there was a fantastic combination of racing teams – some with hilarious names like “Run to Eat” and people on their own, in pairs, or competing as families.

The race took our supporters out into the beautiful fall air and along arroyos and beside beautiful sycamore trees.  When they came back to Water Table 3the Haven, it was to applause, snacks, awards, and a huge amount of gratitude from us at the Haven.  That $12,000 raised will go toward general funds, which means wherever we have the greatest need in our programs, 20141011_093939that’s where the money will go.  Everybody who participated in the Pace for Peace has guaranteed that life can be a little bit safer, a little bit less hungry, a little bit brighter for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and homelessness in our community.  Thank you, everyone, so much for all you do!

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