Saturday fun runnin'

Jess Oaks
Posted 5/1/24

TORRINGTON – Dozens of runners and an equal number of volunteers braved the chilly April weather to attend the 5K Fun Run. The run, a fundraiser for the Goshen County Task Force on Domestic …

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Saturday fun runnin'


TORRINGTON – Dozens of runners and an equal number of volunteers braved the chilly April weather to attend the 5K Fun Run. The run, a fundraiser for the Goshen County Task Force on Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse, began at the SONRise church at 10 a.m. and early check-in for the race began the day prior to the event. 

Registration costs were $50 per person and kids under 12 were free when accompanied by a parent or guardian. The run included a souvenir t-shirt and a goody bag. 

Runners started at the church and ventured throughout town before returning back to the church for lunch, which was provided by the SONRise Church. 

“We went down the frontage road to the overpass and then we took the overpass from highway 26 all the way until it meets highway 85 where we crossed over,” Judy Cummings from SONRise church said. "The first responders were right there and helped them cross over and then they ran back over the overpass to where the exit ramp on 17th street.”

The runners then headed back to the church parking lot finish line according to Cummings, previously a board member for the task force.

“We had about 79 registered. We were really encouraged, especially since this was our first one and being such a busy time of year,” Cumming said. “We were really excited about that number.”

The event couldn’t have been possible without the numerous volunteers seen throughout the day. 

“We had amazing volunteers,” Cumming said. “We had about eight first responders from the volunteer fire department and chief Johnson (Torrington Police Department) and then we had the church. That was the main volunteer support. I bet we had about 40 to 50 people helping out in various ways,” Cummings added. “They loved it.”

Cummings became a part of the task force when a family member went through domestic violence. 

“Our committee who put the race on, there were four of us, and all four of us have been impacted by domestic violence in some way shape, or form,” Cummings said.  “They come from all walks of life, and it doesn’t have a socioeconomic area. The importance of it is just more awareness of it in our community.”

Cummings said she plans to continue the 5K run next year for the task force. 

“It’s going to become an annual race. Our church is 100% behind it, hosting it and supporting it,” Cummings said. “We might try to do it in October instead of April just because October is domestic violence awareness month.” 

Proceeds of the race go directly to the task force. 

“We help [with] domestic violence and sexual assault. When we say, ‘domestic violence,’ that’s like a huge range of things,” Michelle Powell, executive director of the task force said. “Elder abuse falls in there, stalking falls in there. That’s a huge one we don’t talk about a lot.” 

Powell explained the task force helps with legal proceedings in the form of protection orders and emotional support for victims. Their services are free and confidential, Powell expressed. 

“We also offer a 24-hour crisis hotline,” Powell explained. “That is kind of rare. I think we are the only 24-hour crisis line, besides law enforcement, in Goshen County. When they call the hotline (307-532-2118), they are always going to get someone.”

Powell expressed the task force provides shelter services, transportation, and cell phones to persons in the community who are victims of domestic violence. 

“There have been funding cuts across the board with every organization that you hear about these days. That is why it is so important to do these fundraisers so that we can continue to give cell phones out if there was something broken in the middle of a domestic,” Powell explained.

Powell expressed the participation in the 5k run was nothing short of amazing. 

“It was phenomenal. We were reaching community members that I haven’t seen at any of our events,” Powell said. “It was so organized. I just can’t thank Judy enough.”

“It sounds like we are a go for next year to keep this going as an annual event,” Powell said. “It was a lot of fun. I even ran which I have a lot of regrets for,” she joked. 

Powell expressed her gratitude for the community’s support.

“We at the task force didn’t have to do a whole bunch,” Powell explained. “They actually took this under their wing, SONRise Church and Judy. They did a wonderful job. I can’t thank the community enough for coming out and supporting a cause that many people don’t want to talk about. It really, really means a lot to the task force and the board members and everything to know that we have support. There are times we are out here fighting our own little battles within. The justice system is not always justice. There are times we feel so defeated and this weekend brought so much energy back to us saying, ‘We have the backing of our community.’”