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Bergstrom-Lynch and Todd participate in Hot Chocolate Run to end domestic violence

Published on December 07, 2022

Bergstrom-Lynch and Todd participate in Hot Chocolate Run to end domestic violence

Alyssiah Wiley remembered with $4,000 donation

Fundraising total.
Bergstrom-Lynch (right) and other participants in the run celebrate the $791,782 raised by the Hot Chocolate Run this year.

Sociology Professor Cara Bergstrom-Lynch raised more than $4,000 in memory of former student Alyssiah Wiley on Dec. 4 at the annual Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage in Northampton, MA. Wiley was an Eastern sophomore when she was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2013. The run was sponsored by Safe Passage, an organization that supports survivors of domestic violence. Dean Emily Todd of the School of Arts and Sciences also participated in the awareness-raising event.

“This was my 10th time running it (every year since 2013) and I was so honored to run in memory of Alyssiah again and to raise awareness about domestic violence,” said Bergstrom-Lynch. For Todd, participating in the Hot Chocolate Run is a long-standing tradition. “This year was the 19th annual Hot Chocolate Run, and I first participated in 2003, the very first year, and almost every year since.”


Cara Bergstrom-Lynch and her daughter at the podium

Runners in the Hot Chocolate Run

The ribbon Bergstrom-Lynch wears annually at the race

“Thanks in large part to the generosity of our Eastern colleagues and many former Eastern students, I raised $4,060 this year, bringing my cumulative fundraising total since 2013 in memory of Alyssiah to $21,000,” said Bergstrom Lynch. Every year during the race, she wears a white ribbon bearing the names of all donors who contributed to her fundraising.

“Safe Passages has such an important mission, and their annual Hot Chocolate Run is such a fun community event and a really successful fundraiser,” said Todd. By the morning of the event, Safe Passage had raised nearly $800,000 this year. Since 1977, the organization has helped thousands to safety in the wake of domestic violence, helping them rebuild their lives.

Written by Noel Teter