Inaugural Run Helps Fight Domestic Violence

Published by Daleen Berry on

It was perfect race weather. The rain held off, giving us plenty of time to finish the inaugural 10 walk/run for Samantha’s Sanctuary here in Morgantown, W.Va. More runners turned out than initially signed up, so we had a good crowd. And one woman drove all the way from Gaithersburg, Md., just to show her support! Plus, volunteers along the route who handed out water to runners talked to even more people—who say they want to come out and run next year.

So it looks like it’s going to become an annual event! Which is good, since there are too many women out there who are stuck living in a violent home. Often times, these women don’t know how to get out. As a result, their children will grow up to repeat the cycle of violence.

We—the board of directors for Samantha’s Sanctuary—want to help them. And help stop the deadly cycle. That’s why we’re using the proceeds from today’s race to buy e-readers. After loading them with inspirational books known for their ability to empower people, we’re giving them as gifts to the women who need them most.

I want to personally thank everyone who had a hand in making today’s race a success. That includes the Potomac Highlands Distance Club, Advantage Health and Wellness, Green River Group and Nellie Bly Books. Without their help, it wouldn’t have happened. A special thanks goes to Kim Dent and Chase Dyson, who helped the runners warm up with healthy stretching techniques, and who gave chair massages. Megan Hagebush, the great artist who designed the artwork for the quality t-shirts that many runners wore, also deserves a big thank you.

If you missed the race or want to learn more about Samantha’s Sanctuary, you can always catch Erin MacPherson’s broadcast about today’s event on WDTV (CBS).

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Daleen can be reached at

Editor’s note: Daleen Berry is the first recipient of the Pearl Buck Award in Writing for Social Change, for her second book, Lethal Silence, to be published sometime in 2012. Berry speaks about overcoming abuse through awareness, empowerment and goal attainment at conferences around the country.

Her memoir (paperback and as an e-book) can be found at bookstores everywhere, or ordered online. To read the first chapter free, please go to Goodreads. Check out the five-star review from ForeWord Reviews. Or find out why Kirkus Reviews called Berry “an engaging writer, her style fluid and easy to read, with welcome touches of humor and sustained tension throughout.” To read her award-winning memoir, Sister of Silence, in e-book format (or any other e-book), download a free app from Amazon for your phone, tablet or computer.

If you want to read a few of the more than 100 reviews, go to Amazon. To view the Sister of Silence book trailer, go to her VintageBerryWine Youtube channel.

Daleen Berry

Daleen Berry (1963- ) is a New York Times best-selling author and TEDx speaker who was born in sunny San Jose, California, but who grew up climbing trees and mountains in rural West Virginia. When she isn't writing, she's reading. Daleen is also an award-winning journalist and columnist, and has written for such publications as The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, and XOJane. Daleen has written or co-written eight nonfiction books, including her memoir, "Sister of Silence," "The Savage Murder of Skylar Neese," "Pretty Little Killers," "Cheatin' Ain't Easy," "Tales of the Vintage Berry Wine Gang," "Shatter the Silence," and "Appalachian Murders & Mysteries," an anthology. In 2015, West Virginia University placed "Sister of Silence" and "Guilt by Matrimony" on its Appalachian Literature list. You can follow her blog here: Or find her on Facebook and Twitter, as well as email her at daleen(dot)berry(at)gmail(dot)com. She loves to hear from readers.


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