Register now to participate in the seventh annual Rock the Cause 5K on Saturday, April 4, before the price goes up on March 24. The event is a fundraiser for Adrienne’s House in Pascagoula, supporting victims of domestic violence in the Jackson County area.
Rock the Cause began in 2014 in Ocean Springs as the signature fundraising event for Adrienne’s House to provide much needed financial support for the program, according to Stacey Riley, LCSW, chief executive officer of the Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence, Inc. They moved the event to Pascagoula the next year as that is where the shelter program is located, and it has been held at Pascagoula Beach Park since then.
“Domestic violence affects so many people in this community,” Riley said. “Participation in and support of this event and our program brings awareness to the reality of domestic violence and provides life-saving resources for those individuals and families who are in need of our services.”
Since 2014, the race has grown in the number of participants as well as in the amount of money raised. They raised approximately $5,000 in the first year, and in 2019, they raised more than $11,000. The funds are used to offset the operating costs that are not covered by grants.
“In addition to being a fundraising event, it also serves as a means to educate the community about domestic violence as well as the many valuable services that the program provides to our community,” Riley said.
Rock the Cause is a 5K, which is the equivalent of 3.1 miles. This event is for anyone, adult or child, at any fitness level, whether you are a runner, a walker, pushing a stroller or wheelchair. Tutu wearers are also highly encouraged. The race starts and finishes at Beach Park with entertainment and food available for everyone, both participants and spectators. Red beans and rice is served at the finish line and awards are handed out.
The awards given at Rock the Cause are created special for the event each year – event organizers wanted to give out more than just a trophy to those who participated in the event.
“When we started the planning process for Rock the Cause in 2014, we knew we wanted to offer our participants something more for their time with us,” Riley said. “We use large river rocks that are hand painted by the residents in our shelter as well as our staff. Each has a little bit of the personality for the creator of the rock. And of course, we use rocks because of the name of the race.”
To make this event the most successful year yet, Riley said they need lots of runners to participate. They are also still looking for sponsors. Sponsors are included on the race T-shirt. For more information on sponsorships, call 228-205-4502 or email [email protected].
The seventh annual Rock the Cause 5k will be held on Saturday, April 4, at Beach Park. Registration and packet pickup begin at 7 a.m. with the race at 8 a.m. Registration is currently $20 and this will increase to $25 on March 24. Only pre-registrants are guaranteed t-shirts. Additional t-shirts will be handed out after the race. Awards will be given to the top three male and female finishers in their age division along with an overall male and overall female.
Adrienne’s House is the satellite domestic violence shelter program of the Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence. The Center opened Adrienne’s House in 2011 to address the immediate needs of individuals and families residing in Jackson and George Counties who are fleeing domestic violence. This program provides a holistic approach to addressing the impact of interpersonal violence on the lives of adults and children. Services provided by the program are comprehensive and individualized. These services include emergency shelter, crisis intervention, individual and group counseling for adults and children, case management, legal advocacy, civil legal services and assistance with obtaining safe, affordable housing.