Hundreds run, raise money in memory of Missy Charbonneau
Charbonneau, 29, was shot to death Oct. 22, 2009, by her husband, Jonathan, in a murder-suicide at their home on Jewett Street in Manchester. She was attacked when she went to the house with her father, John Cantin, to pick up her belongings.
';It's not always easy when something of this nature and so close to you happens,'; Cantin said in remarks before the race. ';However, volunteering your services to such a cause will help us feel better and live well. Melissa would want us to do that.';
Near a playground and away from the registration and face-painting tables, a makeshift memorial of flowers and photos of Charbonneau stood facing the lake. She is smiling in nearly every photo.
';I know Missy's story touched my heart and touched the hearts of everybody in New Hampshire,'; said Gov. John Lynch, who signed Missy's Law, which was lobbied for by Cantin and made non-fatal strangulation a felony.
';Domestic violence is something that should never be forgotten; never forgotten,'; said Mayor Ted Gatsas.
The first race was organized with help from Stephanie Donahue, a friend of Charbonneau, beginning in October 2010 to coincide with Domestic Violence Month.
';I did it because I needed to make sense of what happened,'; said Donahue. ';I needed to do something to honor Melissa, and it was the first thing that popped into my head because Melissa loved to run.';
Donahue said the race typically draws about 400 participants and in the first two years raised more than $31,000 for the YWCA Domestic Violence Emergency Fund and The Missy's Hope Fund.
This year, the event had 350 participants and raised more than $17,000, said organizer Jennifer Ramsey.
The funds help children who have witnessed domestic violence, said Monica Zulauf, executive director of the Manchester YWCA.
';When kids come into our shelter, they typically come in with nothing,'; Zulauf said. ';We try to get them feeling at home and normalized as quickly as we can.';