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Out of concern for the safety of participants, volunteers, and employees during the ongoing pandemic, the 2020 Kathy Simmons Memorial 5K Walk/Run/Roll has been canceled; however, an online silent auction will be held in its place.
Victim Services normally hosts the Simmons 5K in Macomb on the first Saturday in May. In early April, the 2020 race was tentatively postponed until September. After much deliberation, Victim Services and Kiryn Evans, Kathy Simmons’ daughter, made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event.
A silent auction, which is typically held during the race, provides another way for attendees to support survivors. This year, Public Relations Manager Jamie Roth says the silent auction will be held online. “While we are sad that we could not host the Simmons 5K this year, we are looking forward to hosting the online silent auction,” says Roth. “Most of the items were donated by local small businesses. Thankfully, all of the donors were understanding of the situation and gave us permission to offer their donations in this new format. We are beyond grateful that those who donated are still willing to help survivors of abuse during these uncertain times.”
The online silent auction will be held on Victim Services’ Facebook page under an album titled “Victim Services Silent Auction Fundraiser 2020.” Bids open at 8:00 a.m., Wednesday, September 16; bids close at 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 30. The minimum opening bid and the instant purchase price will be listed in the description and comment section of each item. Bids will only be accepted in increments of $5.00. To place a bid, each bidder must post a comment (bid) underneath the photo of the item they want to bid on. If a bidder wants to place another bid on the same item, they must post a new comment. The complete list of rules and terms will be posted on Victim Services’ Facebook page. Their page can be found at http://www.facebook.com/WIRCCAAVictimServices/.
Roth continued that abuse is still a problem in western Illinois, even during a global health crisis. “We are concerned that many survivors are in prolonged, close quarters with their abuser. Abusers will often use situations like the pandemic to escalate their violent behavior,” said Roth. “Now, more than ever, we need support so that we can provide our free crisis counseling and advocacy services to survivors of these crimes.”
For more information about the silent auction, call Victim Services at (309) 837-6622. If you have experienced abuse at any point in your life, or if you think someone you know is being abused, call Victim Services’ 24-hour free and confidential crisis hotline at (309) 837-5555.
***Report Courtesy of the Western Illinois Regional Council Victim Sevices***