Womancare’s annual Race to End Domestic Abuse Oct. 6

By Stuart Hedstrom 
Staff Writer

    GUILFORD — On mid-day Sunday, Oct. 6 runners and walkers will once again be covering ground to combat domestic violence during the 17th annual Race To End Domestic Abuse. The event is the largest annual fundraiser for Womancare, a community-based organization working to end domestic violence.

ne-wmncarecolor-dc-po-39Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom

    HOOKED ON ENDING DOMESTIC ABUSE — Purple fish — the color for domestic violence awareness — have been placed atop the Hooked on Fishing Not Drugs signs. The fish symbolize Domestic Violence Awareness Month and combined efforts for the two initiatives. Sunday, Oct., 6 will be the running of Womancare’s 17th annual Race to End Domestic Abuse in downtown Guilford, and adults are encouraged to bring youth 15 and under to the race and then to Kiwanis Park in Dover-Foxcroft for fishing.

    “We are making sure people are aware of the physical place change,” Womancare Teen Services Coordinator Angie Alfonso said. The beginning of the five kilometer (3.1 miles) race and walk will be at the athletic field in downtown Guilford.
    “The start and finish for both the race and the walk are at that location,” Alfonso said. She explained the athletic field is located on Water Street, or Route 15, across the road from Lovell’s Hardware. Alfonso said the race will start in the parking area at 12:30 p.m., with registration beginning at 11:30 a.m.
    While a few final details of the five kilometers need to be finalized, much of the route will follow the Piscataquis River Walk as runners head down the trail and then will turn back toward the finish. Alfonso said Foxcroft Academy is providing electronic timing for the race. Medals will be awarded to the top two finishers, first male and female runners to cross the finish line and fastest times in eight different age group categories.
    “The walk will start at the same location, but they are going into town heading toward Abbot,” Alfonso said, as the Walk to End Domestic Abuse will start 1 p.m. with registration opening at noon. The walkers will then turn near the town line by the boat landing and head back to the athletic field.
    “We do have a farmer’s market, and a new addition this year is the vendor’s area,” Alfonso said. The farmer’s market will feature fresh produce from the area and the vendor area will include a number of gift ideas.
    “The Music Maker” Steve Pratt will also be performing during the event, and during and after the race and walk participants and others can enjoy a community cookout with hamburgers and hot dogs. An awards ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m., recognizing those such as the race winners and the individual who collected the most pledges.
    Those running and walking on Oct. 6 are encouraged to collect pledges for Womancare. “New this year people can register through PayPal or with a credit card and they can register their pledges there too,” Alfonso said about Womancare’s website at
    “For $20 in pledges or registration everyone will receive a T-shirt, for $100 in pledges you will receive a windbreaker,” Alfonso said. She said the T-shirt color will be purple — the shade used for domestic violence awareness. “I’m excited to see a sea of purple, we are really hoping to get a great turnout,” Alfonso said.
    She said the T-shirts will have a record number of race sponsors listed on the back. “We have been lucky, we will have 27 T-shirt sponsors this year so we are really thankful for that,” Alfonso said.
    Hooked on Fishing Not Drugs, a program that is aimed at the youth 15 and under, organizer Jim Ellis approached Womancare about combining the two efforts on Oct. 6. Ellis is issuing a challenge to all adults to adopt a young angler to attend the Race to End Domestic Abuse and then bring them to Kiwanis Park behind the Piscataquis Regional YMCA on Park Street in Dover-Foxcroft in the afternoon for some fishing time.
    “He has added a purple fish on top on all the Hooked on Fishing signs,” Alfonso said, as the purple fish Ellis added promotes both the program and all 31 days of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. “I think his intention was a way for kids to be involved in their community and be a part of a greater effort,” she said.
    For more information on the Oct. 6 events, please call Womancare at 564-8165 or go to

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