ROCHESTER, N.Y (WROC) — Willow Domestic Violence Center held its annual “Walk With Willow” fundraising event on Saturday.
Over 500 people participated in the 1.1-mile walk, leaving the Stories of Strength mural at the Times Square Building before walking up Main Street to Parcel 5 and then back to the Times Square Building — many of the participants of the walk were wearing purple in support of the center.
Paige Baker was walking with her two sisters — Claire Baker and Jillian Baker — and explained what this event personally meant for them.
“We walked today for a lot of reasons, we wanted to spread awareness about Willow for the community and we also walked to honor our mom Julie Baker, who was killed in an act of domestic violence in 2020,” Paige Baker said. “We walk to honor her, to spread awareness that this can happen to anybody, any family, any time.”
Baker added, “Domestic violence can go in two directions. Sometimes, relationships can be, you know, both partners can give or experience the abuse– and sometimes it’s really, really complicated. But, Willow is still here to help.”
The center held the event to raise funds for survivors of domestic violence through the organization’s programs and services.
Meaghan de Chateauvieux, the president and CEO of Willow Domestic Violence Center, reflected on Saturday’s walk.
“This morning, I think, was our biggest walk ever,” said de Chateauvieux. “As we were walking down the street, turning around, and looking at this huge sea of purple, and people coming out to support survivors and tell survivors ‘you are not alone’ was just so incredible.”
de Chateauvieux also added that she wants survivors of domestic violence to know that she and the Willow Domestic Violence Center is there to help and support them 24/7.
The center’s 24-hour hotline is (585)-222-7233. A text hotline is available at (585)-348-7233. More information about the center, as well as how to donate, can be found on its website.