By Maureen Smith
JACKSON – Thursday, Oct. 19, runners took the streets of downtown Jackson decked out in purple dresses to benefit Catholic Charities’ domestic violence shelter. In its sixth year, the 5-K run lets runners and walkers have a little fun with their exercise.
Purple is the advocacy color for domestic violence and October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Many runners and walkers wear purple dresses to in honor of women who suffer or those who have ‘run’ from their abusers. Iconic downtown restaurant Hal and Mal’s hosts a gathering before and after the race, which winds around the capitol and through the streets of downtown as the sun sets.
Bishop Joseph Kopcaz kicked off the race with prayer and then handed out water at the turn by the capitol building. Bands from Jackson Prep and Madison St. Joseph High School played along the route to give the runners inspiration.
JACKSON – Cindy Hyde-Smith, commissioner of the State of Mississippi Department of Agricultural and Commerce, welcomes a crowd of more than 400 people of all ages who attended this year’s Purple Dress Run on Thursday, Oct. 23. Proceeds from the event sponsored by Catholic Charities, benefit the battered women’s shelter. Purple-clad participants gathered before sundown at Jaco’s Tacos for the 5K run/walk through downtown Jackson in support of awareness for domestic violence issues. Sam Rhodes, 23, a visitor from Virginia who was invited by his family to enter the run, was the first to cross the finish line at 6:19 p.m. After the race the crowd gathered at Jaco’s Tacos to continue the celebration with food, music and drink.
Michael Thomas, development director for Catholic Charities, (contributer of photo), said this year’s race was the most successful so far raising $18,000. “People went all out to make this a festive, friendly event,” Thomas added.