SANFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - This weekend, complete strangers will gather with friends and family of a young woman who’s life was cut short by a selfish act of domestic violence.
They will be raising money to help other victims of domestic violence. This Sunday will mark the 10th annual Nicole’s Run in Kennebunk in honor of Nicole Oliver.
Oliver is no longer with us, but in a way her friends and family say she is still helping other victims escape similar situations as the one she found herself in.
“Every year there’s that connection to Nicole’s story and the connection to domestic violence and abuse in general”, said Emily Gormley of Caring Unlimited, beneficiary of the race.
10-years ago Nicole Oliver was shot and killed by her husband, before he turned the gun on himself, taking his own life. She was in the process of leaving him. Nicole was just 24-years old, the mother of two young boys.
“I was just so devastated. It was kind of my worst nightmare for her come true”, said her friend Amanda Morris.
Morris was Nicole’s best friend. Each year since that day, she has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and money to help other victims through the fundraising race, Nicole’s Run. She knew it was worthwhile after the first race when a woman approached her and told her this.
“I contacted caring unlimited, we left and now we’re safe and she said I want you to know its because of this race and I just lost it, I started crying”, she said.
All of the money raised, about $20,000 a year, goes to Caring Unlimited which provides services to victims of domestic violence throughout York County. Everything from initial intervention, to emergency shelter, to transitional housing.
“Kind of a lifeline, a connection, a hope line for people who are experiencing abuse or who have a friend or a loved one who is experiencing abuse”, said Gormley.
As race day approaches, it’s a bittersweet time for Nicole’s mom Holly Dee.
“It brings up a lot of sadness when I see the posters go up, because it is a reminder that I lost my own daughter”, she said.
But she says she can deal with the difficult memories and the pain that come with them when she thinks about why the event is held each year.
“If the efforts that are made save just one life, then it makes the effort worth it”, she said.
The race kicks off at 9 Sunday morning in Kennebunk. If you or someone you needs Caring Unlimited services you can contact the hotline at 1-800-239-7298.