2016 was a great year for Running for Innocence!
Our team expanded to include Kids Running for Innocence, an inspiring group of young people committed to the fight against wrongful convictions. Team members held a variety of fun and creative fundraisers, including a yard/bake sale, a dance party, and a strength training class for runners. Team members also completed many running events throughout the year, including the Boston Marathon, the Newburyport River Run 5K/Half Marathon, the New York Marathon, and the Genesis Battlegreen 5K/10K run (where we placed first as a team!) We also held our first annual Freedom Run, a 25 mile run from Watertown to Lowell established to honor a birthday running tradition that team member Victor Rosario began when he was still in prison.
Celebrating freedom and supporting innocence work!
Thanks to a special fundraiser organized with the help of team supporter and jazz singer Emma Zack, Running for Innocence was able to help send four amazing men, Ronjon Cameron, Angel Echavarria, George Perrot, and Victor Rosario, to this year’s Innocence Network Conference in San Antonio, TX.
Funds raised by the Running for Innocence team also supported fact investigations in several innocence cases, enabling lawyers to locate key witnesses who will help support their client’s innocence claims.
The May 2016 challenge: Newburyport River Run 5K & Half Marathon
In May, we ran the Newburyport River Run 5K and Half Marathon alongside two inspiring men who each spent more than three decades in prison for crimes they did not commit, George Perrot and Victor Rosario.
Freedom Run 2016!
On August 6, team members gathered for a brand new tradition, the Freedom Run, which spanned 25 miles from Brighton to Lowell. The Freedom Run honors team member Victor Rosario’s birthday running tradition, begun on the day he turned 50 in prison, of running one lap of the prison interior for every year of his life. Four runners made the entire journey with Victor, and many others joining him for the final 10K of his journey. The day ended with an emotional and joyful birthday gathering.
Baking, Dancing & Strength Training for Innocence!
In June, team member Pamela Boykin organized a fantastic and innovative fundraiser, Dancing for Innocence, to raise money and awareness for the problem of wrongful convictions. The event partnered Running for Innocence with several other organizations committed to the fight against wrongful convictions. October brought two more creative and successful fundraising efforts by team members. Kids Running for Innocence held a Yard Sale & Bake Sale, drawing neighbors, friends and supporters including exoneree and RFI supporter Dennis Maher and his family. And RFI team member Jessica Lee organized a fundraiser in collaboration with MyStryde Studio, with a fantastic conditioning class for runners.
NYC Marathon & First Place Team at the Genesis Battlegreen 5K/10K!
November 6 was an especially big day for the Running for Innocence Team. Victor Rosario completed the New York City Marathon – his first full marathon since achieving his freedom in 2014 – with the help and support of many team members.
And in Lexington, a phenomenal team of runners of all ages completed the Genesis Battlegreen 5K/10K, taking home the “first place team” award!
Lots to celebrate this holiday season!
We ended the year with the New England Innocence Project and CPCS Innocence Program’s holiday gathering, where we celebrated the newly attained freedom of two wrongfully convicted men who together spent nearly fifty years in prison.
Looking ahead to 2017!
There’s lots to look forward to – and lots of work to do for innocence – in the year ahead. We are currently putting together a team of runners to join us on May 7 for the Newburyport River Run 5K/ Half Marathon. For runners interested in taking on a full marathon, we are starting to put together a team for the Bay State Marathon in Lowell, which will take place on October 22. Additional events will be announced as they are planned, and you can always email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or “like” us on Facebook if you want to hear about the latest team updates.
Thank you for your support!
Whether you ran or cheered or volunteered or donated or organized a fundraiser or shared our efforts on Facebook, you helped make 2016 a year to be remembered and celebrated. Thank you for participating in or supporting the Running for Innocence team, and for helping our team to support the New England Innocence Project and its partners in their fight to combat wrongful convictions and free the innocent.
To read more about the Running for Innocence team: www.runningforinnocence.com
To read about the New England Innocence Project: www.newenglandinnocence.org