The Grayson County Crisis Center will spend Saturday night running to raise money. The organization’s fourth annual Seeds of Hope Moonlight 5K and FunRun will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday in Downtown Sherman.
The event will include live music from Timmy and the Naturals and an awards celebration with medals for the top three finishers in each group. Each of the runners will receive a reflective running bib. There will also be free craft beer from 903 Brewers and free hot dogs on site for spectators and runners.
“Through the proven success of the community pieces have helped us maintain this event,” Crisis Center Executive Director Shelly Shields said. “We are going to be keeping the event pretty much the same as it was in previous years.”
Last year there were more than 400 runners and Shields says that as of current registrations, around the same amount are expected to be in attendance at tonight’s event.
In previous years, the 5K and FunRun has raised around $30,000. This year, Shields said, they may not raise as much money.
“We have seen a bit of a decrease in sponsorship, but we are looking to have an additional fundraiser to make up for what we will not make with our already scheduled fundraising.”
The funds raised from the event go toward the crisis center’s victims services, residential and nonresidential programming and the center’s new sexual assault response team.
“When a victim identifies his or her self as a victim or sexual assault at the hospital, we are called in,” Shields said. “We have an advocate that works as a liaison between medical personnel and police. They help give the victim a voice during that time period. We also have a sexual assault nurse examiner.”
Shields said Grayson County has not had a sexual assault nurse examiner in three or four years.
“The last incident that we helped with cost us about $3,200 and that included eight hours of advocacy,” she said. “That also included clothes for the victim because the clothes the victim was wearing go into police evidence. We also work with the Texas Crime Victims Compensation Network.”
Since the crisis center got a response team about a year ago, they have been called out 68 times.
“To truly be effective and to maintain our certifications through the state of Texas, we have to be available 24 hours,” Shields said. “That means that it is important for the community to know that we are available. Stigmas related to sexual assault are real. This is a family and private matter. Having a response team for survivors and bringing awareness is important for all community members.”
Fundraising is important, Shields said, so the crisis center can provide top-notch service.
“As community members help with fundraisers, we can help single mothers with two or three children,” she said. “We can help them get needed birth certificates and help them pay for replacement licenses so that they do not have to go back into situations of violence. We can be in schools to help educate students on healthy relationships.”
In recognition of domestic violence awareness month, in October the crisis center will have another fundraiser with All State Insurance. The purple purse event will be held Oct. 26 at Grayson Hall in Sherman. For more information, visit http://graysoncrisiscenter.org.
“What we can do is never ending and always evolving,” Shields said. “We just want to be available to the community in any and every way that we can.”