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Men Initiating Change from North Berkshire prepare to march on Thursday.
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Remembering those lost to domestic violence.
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The Ninth Walk A Mile In Her Shoes Hits North Street

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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Local and state representatives join the march. See more photos here.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Hundreds of men stepped into their high heels to participate in the Walk A Mile In Her Shoes march on Thursday night. Although it was not the most graceful of miles, it raised some big money to support the Elizabeth Freeman Center.
 
"It takes a community to make change and we are that community and for the past nine years, we have been gathering here," Elizabeth Freeman Center Executive Director Janis Broderick said before the march on North Street during Third Thursday. "We are increasing awareness, developing new partnerships, and we are creating new partnerships to reach people better and sooner."
 
The nonprofit center provides counseling, shelter, and legal advocacy for victims of domestic and sexual violence. It has offices in Pittsfield, North Adams, and Great Barrington.
 
Broderick said this year so far they have raised at least $75,000. She said there is still money to be counted.
 
The march has featured men wearing "her shoes" although women also participate. People marched individually and in teams and the group included community leaders, elected officials, business leaders, and folks who just wanted to help spread awareness of gender violence and make a difference.
 
Broderick said there are increasing levels of violence in the country and in Berkshire County. Those lost to domestic and sexual violence will not be forgotten, she said, as she reached out to those who are suffering by reiterating that they are not alone.
 
"Violence must stop tonight. We are people from throughout Berkshire County and we stand together, stepping out united," she said. "Together we are powerful and violence is preventable. No more rape, no more death, nor more violence."
 

Tags: awareness event,   domestic violence,   elizabeth freeman center,   walk a mile,   

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Purgatory Road Returns, Funds Bring Kevin Hines to Dalton

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

DALTON, Mass. — "Purgatory Road," a long-standing spooky event that raises money for suicide prevention, is back this year.

Attendees will be taken through a "cursed haunted mansion" themed trail in the woods behind the Dalton CRA. The event will run on Oct. 14, 15, and 21 from 7 to 10 p.m. and all proceeds support the Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention.

The fundraiser was started by Joann Farrell and Betsy Nichols 11 years ago and has raised about $200,000 since. It usually draws about 300 people per night.

This year, the effort has brought a globally known activist to Dalton.

"We did it for eight years and we were going to stop but with COVID, we decided that we needed to restart our efforts," Nichols explained.

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