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HomeNewsArchivesAnnual Walk/Run Against Violence Set for Sunday

Annual Walk/Run Against Violence Set for Sunday

Hundreds of residents packed downtown St. Thomas last year for the annual Walk/Run Against Violence, and organizers are expecting to top those numbers substantially when the race kicks off again on Sunday.
Usually, advertising for the event kicks off after the Carnival season, but with the territory’s homicide rate already in double digits for the year, event organizer Celia Carroll — founder of the local chapter of Mothers Against Guns — thought it might be better to start promoting the race a couple months earlier in hopes of getting as many residents out there as possible.
The two-mile race runs from the Coast Guard Dock downtown to Addelita Cancryn Junior High School and back. Participants usually take an oath at the starting line never to bring a gun to school or work, or use a gun to settle a dispute. The crowd is usually diverse, and last year included scores of mothers, fathers, community leaders and local youth groups — including the JROTC battalions, Junior Firefighters and members of Charlotte Amalie High School’s track team.
This year, the event — which kicks off at 4 p.m. — also falls on what Gov. John deJongh Jr. has recently proclaimed as "Crime and Gun Violence Prevention Day" in an effort to "raise the consciousness of the community to reduce crime and stop violence."
"It is fitting that we join together with local and national groups who, by their continuous and tireless efforts in working to reduce crime and violence in our communities, strive to improve the lives of the youth and the quality of life in the Virgin Islands," the document says.
The Walk/Run started almost a decade ago, after Celia Carroll and her husband James lost their son, Jason, to gun violence when he was shot and killed in the middle of the afternoon on a street in downtown St. Thomas. Celia Carroll brought Mothers Against Guns to the territory a few months later and, through the annual Walk/Run Against Violence, the organization raises money for the Jason Carroll Memorial Fund, which offers UVI scholarships to local high school students.
The winner of this year’s scholarship — selected out of a pool of students who have submitted essays advocating against gun violence — will be announced at Sunday’s event, according to a recent news release.
Trophies are given to the overall male and female winners, along with the first three male and female finishers in eight different age categories. Trophies are also given to the oldest and youngest participants, along with the school and organization with the most runners. The first 200 participants will also receive T-shirts and medals.
Registration forms for the race are available at Caribbean Surf Co. and Elizabeth Jane’s the Silver Source at American Yacht Harbor in Red Hook. Pre-registration runs until 5 p.m. Friday, and costs are $3 for children under 17 and $8 for adults.
On the day of the race, residents who have not pre-registered should be on the Waterfront no later than 2:30 p.m. At that time, the cost for children is $5 and $10 for adults.
Primary sponsors for the race this year are Elizabeth Jane’s the Silver Source, St. Thomas Radiology Associates, Fintrac, Innovative and the 284 Connection.

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