Genieve Shelter is hosting its second annual Walk-a-Thon

Published 10:57 am Friday, September 6, 2013


ISLE OF WIGHT—The Genieve Shelter, a haven for victims of domestic violence, is having its second annual Walk-a-Thon in an effort to encourage people to walk away from abuse at home.

The event is scheduled Saturday Oct. 5, at Windsor Castle Park, located in the heart of Smithfield’s historic downtown area. The event will last from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. with registration beginning at 7 a.m. and the actual walk beginning at 8 a.m. The registration for adult (18 and up) is $15 and $10 for teens (13-17). An entire family with children ages 13-17 can register for a total of $30.

The Walk-a-Thon will raise money and awareness against domestic violence, and to give the shelter funds needed to buy supplies and equipment. In an effort to raise money, each team member is asked to raise $100 by obtaining 10 sponsorships, though this is not a requirement for participation.

The shelter itself was founded by the late Theresa Connell of Isle of Wight.

She was a victim of domestic violence at an early age; first by watching her mother and siblings suffer at the hands of her stepfather and then at the hands of her first husband. After marrying again and finding happiness, she volunteered at a home for battered women in Portsmouth. As a computer operator/dispatcher for the Salvation Army, she put all her money, every cent actually, into the starting of the shelter in 1987. The place was named for her mother, Genieve, and Connell also felt it had a broader meaning by combing two words: Genesis for new beginnings and Eve for the representation of womankind.

At the Walk-a-Thon there will be a slew of activities for all to participate in. There will be a bounce house for the children to release anxiety and energy. There will also be plenty of cooked food to curb the appetites created by all the walking. The award-winning journalist and author Janine Latus will be the keynote speaker for the evening.

All the proceeds from the walk will benefit the Genieve Shelter, which serves Suffolk, Franklin and Smithfield, as well as Isle of Wight, Southampton and Surry counties. There are other ways to help the shelter like visiting the online store Give Line at and purchasing goods from the site. They donate anywhere between 16 to 33 percent of their sales to the shelter. You can also donate actual items as well, and that can be done by contacting the shelter through their website,, or by calling the office at 925-4365