Motorcycle ride to benefit domestic abuse shelter

The Refuge Network, a multi-community organization whose primary purpose is to provide supportive services for people who are currently involved or have been involved in an abusive relationship, is hosting its 4th Annual Black Dog Motorcycle Ride to raise money for the organization’s Black Dog Hill Domestic Abuse Shelter.

On Saturday, July 14, bikers will leave from Vannellis at 12:45 p.m. sharp for a ride through the scenic river valley area and return to Vannellis for a meal.

The ride goes on rain or shine. Registration starts at 11:30 a.m. at Vannellis. Cost is $20 per person which includes meal and door prize ticket, $10 for passenger or spectator.

“We are excited to have the community’s support in helping to organize and advertise the motorcycle ride for a fourth year in a row,” said Tim MacMillan, chairman of the board of The Refuge Network.

Opened in 2009, Black Dog Hill Shelter allows The Refuge Network to provide safety and shelter for up to 15 women and children. The shelter is named for a black dog that used to enjoy sleeping in the sun in a farmhouse window. Since opening Black Dog Hill over 500 women and children have sought shelter from family violence.

“Distance to services in rural areas often keeps victims from seeking help,” explained The Refuge Network Executive Director Roxie Karelis. “Shelters like Black Dog Hill allow battered women to seek services and keep themselves and their families safe.”

Statewide, more than 132,000 women and children are assaulted each year, with many others going unreported.

The Refuge Network’s mission is to help bring an end to domestic abuse by providing supportive, non-judgmental services to the families affected by domestic violence in East Central Minnesota.

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