Published in the September 9, 2016 edition
MELROSE — The 21st annual Walk Against Violence and Candlelight Vigil, held by the Melrose Alliance Against Violence (MAAV), will be held on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 4 p.m. at the Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School.
The theme of this year’s Walk and Vigil, which is MAAV’s biggest event, is “A Path to Hope.”
“Our mission at MAAV is to provide the support and resources necessary for safe and healthy relationships, providing help at each step of the way,” said MAAV Executive Director Rebecca Mooney. “All of us walking together, taking our own steps to prevent violence and supporting this mission creates a ‘Path to Hope’ for individuals and for the community.”
Congresswoman Katherine Clark will be honored with MAAV’s sixth annual “Advocacy in Action Award,” in recognition of all that she has done to help victims of abuse. Mayor Robert Dolan will serve as Honorary Chairman of the event.
Pre-walk activities begin with a Candlelight Vigil at the middle school to honor victims of domestic violence homicide. The event will conclude with a two-mile walk around Ell Pond. Community members are welcome to participate in the walk by forming teams, serving as sponsors or making individual contributions.
The event serves as MAAV’s largest annual fundraiser, with last year’s walk raising more than $50,000. Donations are used to fund prevention and intervention initiatives throughout the community and in the Melrose Public Schools. MAAV’s programs seek to curb bullying, teen dating abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault.
This year’s Walk Committee is co-chaired by Joan Bell, president of MAAV’s Board of Directors, and Meredith Baker, vice president of MAAV’s Board of Directors. Twenty-five community members serve on the committee.
Supporting the event as members of the Honorary Host Committee are State Representative Paul Brodeur; U.S. Congresswoman Katherine Clark; former Attorney General Scott Harshbarger; Attorney General Maura Healey; Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian; former Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone; State Senator Jason Lewis; Melrose Police Chief Michael Lyle; Alan Macdonald, president and CEO of Hallmark Health Systems; U.S. Senator Ed Markey; State Senator Thomas McGee; Diane Patrick, former first lady of Massachusetts; Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan; Melrose Superintendent of Schools Cyndy Taymore and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
If residents want to participate in the walk, please contact Mooney at 781-662-2010. To learn more about MAAV, please visit www.maav.org.