Inaugural Refuse to Abuse 5k raises over $18,000 for Domestic Violence Prevention
Some 1,000 runners, walkers and wheelchair users participated in Saturday’s inaugural Refuse to Abuse 5k at Safeco Field. The event raised over $18,000 for the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence statewide prevention and education programs.
The first person across the finish line was Paul Mannino at 17:44. The top women’s finisher was Erica McElrea at 19:10. The top three fundraisers were Donald Mackey, Mike Clark and April Randhawa. Every dollar raised will directly support WSCADV’s violence prevention efforts across the state, including work with teens and youth engagement.
The 5k course wound its way around and through Safeco Field with the finish line on the warning track just beyond third base. Kate Wedge, wife of Mariners manager Eric Wedge, who were co-chairs of the event, was at the end of the course to greet finishers.
At a ceremony to close the successful event, Kate Wedge thanked participants for making “a statement to the nation against domestic violence and for prevention.”
Participants came from 17 states and Canada and ranged in age from 8-80. Among the runners were Shelley Vargas, wife of Mariners pitcher Jason Vargas, Kristin Smoak, wife of Justin Smoak, and Sharyn Meichtry, Brendan Ryan’s fiancé.
In addition to the Seattle Mariners and the team’s non-profit foundation Mariners Care, the event was supported by FAROut.org (a project of The NW Network), Seattle Goodwill, Lummi Nation, Brooks and the CW11 (KSTW).
The Refuse To Abuse® campaign is a 15-year partnership between the Seattle Mariners and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence to promote healthy, respectful relationships. Print, radio, and television public service announcements in both English and Spanish are produced featuring prominent Mariners, reaching hundreds of thousands of people across the Northwest. This year’s campaign features Eric and Kate Wedge, Felix Hernandez, and Franklin Gutierrez, and is supported by Wells Fargo, with in-kind support from the marketing firm Craters of the Moon.