DASAS’ sixth annual Survivor Stomp 5K to be host virtually

CASS COUNTY — A local organization is running for a cause throughout the month of April.

Domestic and Sexual Abuse Services is hosting its sixth annual Survivor Stomp 5K virtually to support survivors while promoting public health.

DASAS, an organization serving St. Joseph, Van Buren and Cass counties, leads efforts to end domestic violence and sexual assault in southwest Michigan. Hosted each April during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Survivor Stomp is a 5K run/walk designed to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities on how to prevent it.

This will be the second straight year the event will be hosted virtually, as the onset of the pandemic last year forced the organization to make the switch from its usual in-person format.

“With COVID and the related safety concerns, we wanted to make sure everyone could participate safely,” said DASAS executive director Krista DeBoer. “We have learned how to do things virtually. Hopefully, the experience is even better this year because we’re more knowledgeable.”

Interested parties can sign up on Facebook on the Survivor Stomp event page or on the DASAS website. Registration is $25, and participants will receive a T-shirt in the mail after signing up.

Participants can choose their own starting line, which could be their neighborhood, a track, a treadmill at home, etc.

If participants wish to publish their times on the Survivor Stomp leaderboard, they are asked to email McKenna Huffstutter at mckennab@dasasmi.org.

DeBoer was impressed with last year’s participation numbers and is hoping for another strong turnout this year.

“Quite a few people participated,” she said. “Something I love about the counties we serve is that our community sponsors and donors have been so generous during these trying times. Everyone has gone above and beyond. It’s been very overwhelming.”

DASAS encourages participants to tag the organization in any social media posts at #STOMP2021.

“If we can join together as a community, we can prevent sexual assaults, educate community members and provide excellent services for survivors,” Deboer said. “So often, their voices cannot as easily be heard. We, as a community, stand against sexual assault. This is a wonderful opportunity to join our voices together.”

For those looking to support the cause, donations can be made year-round to the agency by visiting dasasmi.org or mailing a donation to P.O. Box 402, Three Rivers, MI 49093.

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