2nd Annual Luminaria Run to benefit domestic violence center

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

Shelter House, the domestic violence center serving Okaloosa and Walton counties, will host a unique twilight run that will shine the light on domestic violence in our community. The Second Annual Luminaria Run to End Domestic Violence will take place Dec. 8 at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Starting and ending at Baytowne Marina, the course will be lined with more than 2,000 luminarias lighting the path for the runners.

The race includes 5k and 9k courses winding throughout Sandestin.

“We chose the 9k distance to represent that a woman is assaulted or beaten every nine seconds in the U.S.,” said Shelter House Executive Director Michelle Sperzel. “The luminarias symbolize how Shelter House and our community partners light the way to a safer place for victims of domestic violence.”

Children are encouraged to participate in the run. This family-friendly event will feature the national anthem by Cheryl Jones of Jones and Company to start the race and carols from the Choctawhatchee High School Chorus along the route. The party at the finish will include mini cupcakes, s’mores, hot cocoa and tunes from DJ Mike Whitty.

Luminary bags will be labeled and placed along the course in honor or in memory of loved ones. Bags are available through a $10 donation to Shelter House and can be purchased at the Shelter House office in Fort Walton Beach or on site the day of the race.

This is a twilight race starting at 5 p.m. Registration for the 5k is $25 for adults in advance or $35 on site and $10 for children in advance or $15 on site. The 9k race costs $40 in advance or $50 on race day for adults and $15 in advance and $20 on race day for children. Walkers are also welcome.

To register, visit www.shelterhousenwfl.org or www.imathlete.com. For more information on the race, sponsorships or luminary bags, call Shelter House at 850-243-1201.

Parking for the event will be available at the Horseshoe Bayou parking lot located at the resort entrance. Tram service will run at regular intervals from noon until 9pm transporting guests to the Marina.