What is the history of the Race4Love?
2022 Marks the 10th anniversary of The Race4Love. Race4Love 5k arose from the 2012 Tate/Coursen Memorial Walk/Run that honored Lance Cpl. Dana Tate and Cpl. Dyke “A.J.” Coursen, two Beaufort County Sheriff’s deputies who were killed when responding to a domestic violence call in 2002. Marie Tate organized the event to honor her husband and his partner, and to raise funds for Citizens Opposed to Domestic Abuse (CODA), a nonprofit organization providing shelter, legal services, counseling, advocacy and outreach to survivors of domestic violence in Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties.
In 2013, the event moved to the weekend closest to Valentine’s Day and adopted the “Race4Love” name. CODA and Hope Haven, a children’s advocacy and rape crisis center, merged in 2017 and since then the Race4Love 5k has continued under the new organization’s name: Hopeful Horizons. All race proceeds contribute to Hopeful Horizons’ efforts to end abuse and change lives.
Since its inception, the Race4Love has raised more than $108,000 for CODA/Hopeful Horizons and every dollar raised has supported the goal of helping survivors so that tragedies like the murders of deputies Tate and Coursen could be prevented. Marie Tate, Lance Cpl. Dana Tate’s widow, is still actively involved in the event. Our 150+ race participants pass a tribute to Lance Cpl. Dana Tate at the “Tate Turnaround,” sponsored by Marie Tate, just before the home stretch on Islands Causeway.
Each year the Race4Love features a different Grand Marshal including the likes of Ron Parker of the Kansas City Chiefs, local celebrities and community leaders. WJCL’s Riley Miller will emcee the event. Miller joined the WJCL news team in February 2018. Prior to that, she worked at WDAY in Fargo, ND, and graduated from the University of Kentucky. The Race4Love continues to be a family and dog-friendly event with activities for all ages, a costume contest and creative snacks.
Who benefits from the proceeds raised at the event?
Proceeds raised support Hopeful Horizons’ programs and services for survivors of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault in Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, Jasper and Allendale counties. Thanks in part to events like these, we are able to provide all services free of charge – including counseling, trauma treatment, emergency shelter, legal services, case management, advocacy, forensic interviews, forensic medical exams and prevention and education programs. Hopeful Horizons is the only children’s advocacy, domestic violence and rape crisis center serving the entire 14th Judicial Circuit. We are committed to working with our community partners from law enforcement, the Solicitor’s Office, the Department of Social Services, the school districts and others to help ensure victim/survivor safety and offender accountability, which creates a safer, healthier community for us all.
How has this event been helpful in raising awareness and reaching those in need?
The Race4Love 5k run/3k walk is a fun event that celebrates all the positive, loving relationships we have in our lives. This event reaches people who otherwise might not get involved in our mission to protect, treat and prevent – people come out to the race because they like to run or walk and they leave knowing that they are helping to end abuse and change lives in their community. The Race4Love has also provided a great opportunity for survivors to celebrate their journeys of healing and for their loved ones to show their support by participating with them or in their honor.
Can you give an example of the kind of impact you are able to make in the local community?
Hopeful Horizons typically assists between 1,200 and 1,300 child and adult victim/survivors in the Lowcountry as well as providing support and information to between 500 and 750 family members and loved ones of victims. After an initial slow-down in the first few months of the pandemic, we saw a significant increase in demand for our emergency shelter and transitional housing services. So much so that in 2020 we sheltered and housed more people than in any prior year in our 30+ year history. With your help, we were able to provide a total of 5,363 nights of safety.