The Rapidian

Love shouldn't hurt

Safe Haven Ministries' Running for Jenny races to the finish line of ending domestic abuse by participating in the 2014 Fifth Third River Bank Run
The 2013 Running for Jenny team pose for a photograph following the Fifth Third River Bank Run.

The 2013 Running for Jenny team pose for a photograph following the Fifth Third River Bank Run. /Courtesy of Safe Haven Ministries

Underwriting support from:

Join the Running for Jenny Team at Uccello's for a Fundraising Dinner to Support Safe Haven Ministries

Join Safe Haven and the Running for Jenny team on Tuesday, May 6 from 4:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. the Grand Rapids Uccello's Ristorante for a fundraising dinner. Uccello's will donate 15 percent of the food tab for any table that has a printed copy of the Running for Jenny flyer. The flyer can be downloaded by clicking here.

The 215-member running for Jenny for Jenny team will join again for the Fifth Third River Bank Run on May 10

The 215-member running for Jenny for Jenny team will join again for the Fifth Third River Bank Run on May 10 /Courtesy of Safe Haven Ministries

More than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States, oftentimes in the process of fleeing that abusive relationship.

Jennifer Heeren, a 29-year old Grand Rapids resident, was one of those courageous women.

On July 7, 2011—just three days after Heeren fled her abusive husband Rodrick Dantzler—Dantzler shot and killed Heeren, their daughter, Kamrie, Jenny’s parents, Tom and Becky, and three other individuals.

For this reason, Safe Haven Ministries is committed to honoring Heeren, as well as the thousands of women and children in our community who run to flee domestic abuse each year.

As a part of this commitment, the Running for Jenny team formed. Each year the team gathers for the Fifth Third River Bank Run to share Heeren’s story and raise funds to support Safe Haven’s domestic violence services throughout Grand Rapids.

This year's 215-member team has set a $30,000 fundraising goal and is well on its way with help from community partners, including its First Leg sponsor Miller Johnson Attorneys and Counselors. 

Domestic violence is an epidemic in our community.

In 2012, there were 94,891 reported incidents of domestic violence in Michigan. Of these incidents, 4,092 took place in Kent County.

But through the work of advocates like the Running for Jenny team, this community can help to end domestic violence.

Domestic violence against anyone affects an entire community, and the Running for Jenny team is dedicated to spreading the message that love shouldn't hurt. 

Whether they knew Heeren, her daughter Kamrie, or her parents Becky or Tom Heeren, the members of the Running for Jenny team are united with one purpose: they want to make sure no one else has to experience domestic violence.

Running for Jenny donations can be made directly to Safe Haven online.

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