“With each step, Racquel, Liliana, Rodica, JoJo, and Michaela are helping to move survivors further on their journey to a life without violence and abuse,” explains Loretta Davis, Executive Director of The Retreat. In the United States, 1 in 3 women experience an abusive relationship in their lifetime. This is no different for the women in our community and the women running on behalf of The Retreat in this year’s United Airlines NYC Half Marathon team. One of the runners explains “I was lucky to be able to get out of my situation where others aren’t so fortunate.”

“Our goal is make people aware that there’s help and that they are not alone, they have a place to go for help right in our community,” says Raquel Styler, team captain of half marathon team.

Last fall when The Retreat’s Executive Director Loretta Davis first discussed putting together a team, Raquel Styler, a personal trainer and avid runner, quickly offered to help. Before The Retreat had officially become a participating charity with New York Road Runners (NYRR) Raquel had recruited her five-woman team. All five live on the East End and love the challenge of the half marathons and marathons. They are Raquel Styler, JoJo Bennett, Liliana Fazendeiro, Rodica Matthews, and Michaela Clary. On Sunday, March 17, 2019, they will run 13.1 miles for The Retreat through Manhattan and Brooklyn with 25,000 other runners from around the world.

In addition to the challenge of training for a half marathon while working, raising children, and living daily life, the women have raised more than $13,000. They have received donations from community members and business owners, have designed and printed t-shirts and hats that are being sold at Soma in Southampton, held exercise classes and donated the proceeds, and held a raffle/auction of donated items to benefit the run. Their fundraising efforts will continue through the March 17th race.

“We have this amazing team of women athletes who are running the half marathon to raise funds for our survivors. These volunteer runners are incredible and we have had great community support,” says Loretta Davis.