Hello Friends. I am excited to highlight the Race4Love, a family friendly 5k that Hopeful Horizons puts on every year. As you read below, you will learn more about the work that Hopeful Horizons does and how the Race4Love came to be. We don't always talk about it, but domestic abuse and violence can happen to anyone, and through the Race4Love, Hopeful Horizons is able to raise awareness and provide for families in need.
The race is this Saturday, February 10th in Beaufort. If you are a runner or walker, I hope that you will consider attending. If you are looking for a local charity to participate in, please consider donating or volunteering with Hopeful Horizons. They have an impressive team who work day in and day out to make a difference and change lives.
What is the history of the Race 4 Love?
The Race4Love 5k arose from the 2012 Tate/Coursen Memorial Walk/Run that honored Lance Cpl. Dana Tate and Cpl. Dyke “A.J.” Coursen, two Beaufort County Sheriff’s deputies who were killed when responding to a domestic violence call in 2002. Marie Tate organized the event to honor her husband and his partner, and to raise funds for Citizens Opposed to Domestic Abuse (CODA), a nonprofit organization providing shelter, legal services, counseling, advocacy and outreach to survivors of domestic violence in Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties.
In 2013, the event moved to the weekend closest to Valentine’s Day and adopted the “Race4Love” name. CODA and Hope Haven, a children’s advocacy and rape crisis center, merged in 2017 and since then the Race4Love 5k has continued under the new organization’s name: Hopeful Horizons. All race proceeds contribute to Hopeful Horizons’ efforts to end abuse and change lives.
Since its inception, the Race4Love has raised over $40,000 for CODA/Hopeful Horizons and every dollar raised has supported the goal of helping survivors so that tragedies like the murders of deputies Tate and Coursen could be prevented. Marie Tate, Lance Cpl. Dana Tate’s widow, is still actively involved in the event. Our 150+ race participants pass a tribute to Lance Cpl. Dana Tate at the “Tate Turnaround,” sponsored by Marie Tate, just before the home stretch on Islands Causeway.
Each year the Race4Love features a different Grand Marshal including the likes of Ron Parker of the Kansas City Chiefs, local celebrities and community leaders. This year’s Grand Marshal is Miss South Carolina, Suzi Roberts, whose platform includes the prevention of abuse. The Race4Love continues to be a family and dog-friendly event with activities for all ages, a costume contest and creative snacks.
Who benefits from the proceeds raised at the event?
Proceeds raised support Hopeful Horizons’ programs and services for survivors of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault in Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, Jasper and Allendale counties. Thanks in part to events like these, we are able to provide all services free of charge – including counseling, trauma treatment, emergency shelter, legal services, case management, advocacy, forensic interviews, forensic medical exams and prevention and education programs. Hopeful Horizons is the only children’s advocacy, domestic violence and rape crisis center serving the entire 14th Judicial Circuit. We are committed to working with our community partners from law enforcement, the Solicitor’s Office, the Department of Social Services, the school districts and others to help ensure victim/survivor safety and offender accountability, which creates a safer, healthier community for us all.
How has this event been helpful in raising awareness and reaching those in need?
The Race4Love 5k is a fun event that celebrates all the positive, loving relationships we have in our lives. This event reaches people who otherwise might not get involved in our mission to protect, treat and prevent – people come out to the race because they like to run or walk and they leave knowing that they are helping to end abuse and change lives in their community. The Race4Love has also provided a great opportunity for survivors to celebrate their journeys of healing and for their loved ones to show their support by participating with them or in their honor.
The work that CODA, now Hopeful Horizons, is doing is inspiring. Can you give an example of the kind of impact you are able to make in the local community?
In 2017, we assisted over 1,400 child and adult victim/survivors in the Lowcountry as well as providing support and information to over 1,000 family members and loved ones of victims. We also reached over 5,000 students, professionals and community members through our prevention, education and awareness programs. Ramona’s story demonstrates the kind of life-changing services we are able to provide thanks to the support of our community:
Ramona found out about Hopeful Horizons from a friend of hers who we had helped previously. While Ramona’s husband built a successful business, he also abused Ramona on a daily basis – frequently in front of their three children. Ramona was a prisoner in her own home - she was not allowed so much as a walk to the mailbox without her husband’s express permission. Ramona had no access to money, no driver’s license, no vehicle, no personal cellphone. She felt she had nowhere to turn until she called Hopeful Horizons.
We were able to get her into our emergency shelter where she and her children could be safe and begin their healing process. Our legal team assisted Ramona to obtain a divorce, alimony and child support. Ramona is now free from her abusive husband. When Ramona first came through our doors, she was a victim of abuse perpetrated by her husband. As we provided her and her children with the support and assistance needed to heal and move forward, we witnessed Ramona’s transition from a victim to a survivor. Ramona and her children found hope and a chance to live lives free from abuse because of the help she received from Hopeful Horizons.