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Sabrina Patterson Memorial Marathon cancelled

Organizers of the annual Sabrina Patterson Memorial Marathon fundraiser have announced the event has been cancelled. Above, participants in the 2015 event release balloons in Sabrina's memory.
Organizers of the annual Sabrina Patterson Memorial Marathon fundraiser have announced the event has been cancelled. Above, participants in the 2015 event release balloons in Sabrina's memory.

SACKVILLE, N.B. – It went strong for six years but organizers have made the tough decision to bring an end to the annual event they began in memory of their loved one who was a victim of domestic violence.

The Sabrina Patterson Memorial Marathon fundraiser has been cancelled, with organizers saying it’s become a challenge to recruit volunteers each year for the event and participants are dwindling as well.

Denise Murphy, Sabrina’s sister, who has been one of the key organizers since the event’s inception in 2011, said putting together a fundraiser of this size involves a significant time commitment each year.

“We’ve tried recruiting help but understandably there is a lot of work involved and not many have the time needed to commit,” she said.

Even for herself, with a recent job change where she has been traveling more, Murphy said she has found it difficult balancing home and work life on top of planning such as event.

“Dale (Sabrina’s brother) and I discussed it at length and realized we just didn’t have the time to put into it to make it a successful event.”

Murphy also pointed out that, with so many different walk/run events going on throughout the year, finding participants has also become an issue. 

“People can only spread themselves so thin and I definitely encourage them to put their money where their heart is. There are so many wonderful and important causes out there that all need support,” she said.

She gave thanks to everyone who has helped out with the event over the years – whether as a member of the committee, a volunteer, a sponsor who donated items or money, or as a participant.

Murphy said Sabrina’s family and friends are proud of what has been accomplished over the past six years in Sabrina’s memory.

 “We have raised over $100,000 in that time and helped three different women’s shelters, put money into a trust account for Sabrina’s children for their future, sponsored families at Christmas time, donated money to help the local Bob Edgett Memorial Club as well as helped two graduating students each year.”

The plan is to continue to fund the high school bursaries each year by holding small fundraisers such as a raffle or a private event.

“I know in my heart that Sabrina is at peace and is proud of everything we have done in her memory and to raise awareness of domestic violence,” she said. “I also know that she wouldn’t want us to stress over trying to pull off this event each year. When it began, it was what we all needed, to help us heal, to give us something positive to look after rather than wallowing in grief.”

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