CCCNH hosts 9th annual Walk a Mile on Wednesday, preregistration ongoing  

By JAMIE L. COSTA

Monitor staff

Published: 10-01-2023 8:00 PM

The Granite State Roller Derby team, led by Claire Gruenselder, will be skating its way through downtown Concord on Wednesday alongside survivors and allies of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“Our team is made up of individuals who are dedicated to supporting nonprofits in our local area,” Gruenselder said. “Each year, we support a nonprofit in the larger Concord area and for 2023 we chose CCCNH with the angle that our team wants to help a nonprofit that empowers other people.”

To coincide with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Crisis Center of Central New Hampshire hosts an annual Walk a Mile in Their Shoes (WAM) to raise money and provide services for victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, child abuse and elder abuse in Merrimack County. Each year, the nonprofit helps around 1,100 people.

“They have such an important mission in the larger Concord area and we wanted to help a nonprofit that served those directly impacted in our backyard,” Gruenselder said. “It’s important for us to support something that is very close to home.”

Annually, WAM, which is the Crisis Center’s largest fundraiser, raises around $60,000, all of which goes toward helping survivors with hospital visits, court advocacy programs, hotel costs for emergency situations, sheltering, housing programs and prevention education. As part of the services, the Crisis Center also provides in-classroom education to high schools, colleges and universities in the area that is tailored to specific school needs, including what healthy relationships look like and an introduction to both sexual assault and domestic violence.

“Walk a Mile is important to raise community awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault in our communities,” said development and communications director Deb Johnson. “The more that people talk about it, the more awareness is raised through education and outreach and the more we can try to prevent this from happening.”

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, the severity of domestic violence has increased, Johnson said, and the nonprofit acts as an essential and life-saving resource to survivors and victims.

“We are their lifeline but we’re not just here for the survivors, we’re also here for the family members and friends who are worried about their loved ones,” she continued.

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Last year, more than 250 people gathered outside the State House in downtown Concord to walk and together, the nonprofit earned more than $60,000 to help clients.

Check-in and same-day registration begin at 4 p.m. on Wednesdsay followed by opening remarks and speakers at 5 p.m. and the start of the walk at 5:30 p.m. To register online, visit https://secure.qgiv.com/event/wam2023. Costs to register vary by age.

For more information, visit www.cccnh.org.

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