Published October 18, 2019

MELROSE — Fall is here and it’s time for MAAV’s Annual Walk Against Violence and Candlelight Vigil. This year’s event, which will be the 24th annual, will be held on Sunday, October 20 at 4 p.m. at the Melrose Veteran’s Memorial Middle School.

The Walk and Candlelight Vigil is MAAV’s largest annual fundraiser and community awareness event. The theme of this year’s event is “Take a Stand. Take a Step.” This simple statement conveys a powerful message: that we must take a stand against domestic violence, and then take action – a step – to prevent it and to help those who may be suffering from abuse.

The event will begin with the presentation of MAAV’s 9th Annual Advocacy in Action Award, which will be presented posthumously to Anna Bastian. Anna was a strong, beloved, integral member of MAAV who passed away on December 24, 2018. She was a practicing attorney, mother and grandmother, and actively involved in a range of community groups dedicated to women’s rights and social justice.

“As a member of the Melrose League of Women Voters, Anna was an early, passionate supporter of MAAV, which the League founded in 1995. Anna joined MAAV’s Board of Directors as Treasurer in 2010,” said Rebecca Mooney, Executive Director of MAAV. “Anna became involved with all facets of the organization, bringing her sharp intellect, strong sense of ethics and dry sense of humor. She was a survivor of sexual assault and deeply committed to helping other victims. We are thrilled to honor Anna and her family with this award at this year’s Walk.”

The event includes a Candlelight Vigil at the Middle School to honor victims of domestic violence homicide and concludes with a 2-mile walk around Ell Pond and through downtown Melrose. 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 almost $50,000. Donations are used to fund prevention and intervention initiatives throughout the community and schools. MAAV’s programs seek to curb bullying, teen dating abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault.

Once again this year, MAAV Board Members Meredith Baker and Joan Bell are serving as co-chairs of the event. They are joined by 25 community members who are serving on this year’s Walk Committee. Mayor Gail Infurna will serve as Honorary Chairperson of the event.

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 Healy; Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian; former Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone; State Senator Jason Lewis; Melrose Police Chief Michael Lyle; Senator Edward Markey; former Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly; Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan; MelroseWakefield Healthcare Chief Executive Office Sue Sandberg; Melrose Superintendent of Schools Cyndy Taymore; and Senator Elizabeth Warren.

If you wish to participate in the Walk, please contact MAAV at 781-662-2010. To learn more about MAAV, please visit