To honor former employee Lisa McCoy and to raise awareness of domestic violence, employees of Marcrom’s Pharmacy in Manchester have organized a 5K event called “Shining a Light.”

The event is set for Friday, with registration and music beginning at 5 p.m., and the race starting at 7 p.m.

McCoy, a four-year employee of the pharmacy, was killed in September, allegedly by her husband.  Her colleagues wanted to honor her and help others who might be suffering abuse.

“About a week after Lisa passed away, our staff decided to dedicate a bench on the greenway to Lisa,” said Marcrom’s General Manager Joe McKamey. “Lisa loved to exercise and run on the greenway, so we thought that would be a great tribute to her.”

McKamey also suggested the staff organize a 5K race and everyone loved the idea.

“They took it and ran with it from there,” McKamey said.

When the run was scheduled, several local individuals and businesses offered to participate.

“The goal of the event is twofold – to continue to honor Lisa and her memory and to create awareness for domestic violence,” McKamey said.

The recent death of their close friend, McKamey said, has “brought to our attention that domestic violence goes on much more than what we know.”

“The person that is standing next to you can very much be in a situation similar to that and you not even know,” McKamey said. “We just want to give people hope that there are opportunities and places they can go to escape from that.”

“Lisa was always smiling, always sweet, always worried about you,” McKamey said. “She was always concerned about other people. In many ways, it’s like losing a family member.”

 

The event

The event is set for Friday, with registration and music beginning at 5 p.m. at the Manchester Recreation Complex, 55 N. Woodland St.

Mary Catherine Willows, Phat Tuesday and the Sound Dawgs will provide the musical entertainment, said McKamey.

Food trucks will start serving at 6 p.m., and the race will start at 7 p.m.

“It will be a nighttime 5K and people need to bring flashlights,” McKamey said. “The thought process behind that was domestic violence is such a dark subject, so our idea is to shine a light on it. We want all the lights to represent the fact that we are shining a light on a dark issue.”

While admission is free, participants will have a chance to donate during the event or online at runsignup.com/Race/TN/Manchester/Lisas5k.

All proceeds will benefit Haven of Hope and Blue Monarch.

Haven of Hope offers crisis intervention, education and advocacy support to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Blue Monarch is a residential recovery program supporting women who struggle with addiction and who are victims of domestic violence.

 

A dark, preventable issue

Domestic violence is a serious, preventable public health problem affecting tens of thousands of Tennesseans and millions of people across the United States, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.  In Tennessee, 77,355 people were identified as victims of domestic violence in 2017.

Data shows one in three women and one in four men will become victims of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetimes. More than 55,000 domestic violence victims in Tennessee were female, and 21,983 were male in 2017.

Factors associated with higher risk of domestic violence include being a woman, low income and antisocial personality traits, according to the department health.

Childhood risk factors, such as exposure to violence between parents, experiencing child abuse or neglect and experiencing sexual violence, may increase the danger.

Domestic violence is preventable.

The Department of Health Rape Prevention Education Program offers training and support for community agencies, schools and sports teams to implement evidence-based prevention programs. To learn more about these programs, visit www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/fhw/vipp/rape-prevention-education.html.

In Tennessee, the Sexual Assault Center provides healing through counseling, prevention education and advocacy for children, adults and families affected by sexual violence. The center offers a variety of prevention trainings and educational programs throughout the year, including courses for schools and college campuses.

For more information visit www.sacenter.org/ or call the 24-hour crisis hotline and support line at 1-800-879-1999.

Elena Cawley can be reached by email at ecawley@tullahomanews.com.