A reminder that the 5k Road race, which is raising money for the Petit family foundation- is coming up on July 20th. There will be a separate run for children under eight, as well as a 1.3 mile "fitness walk" for those who wish to participate who are not neccesarily long-distance runners.
Winners and awards will be given at a Post race ceremony which will include refreshments and activities. The race, sponsored by GE, Stanley and a gaggle of other Connecticut based companies will be raising money for the Petit Family Foundation, which donates to M.S research and people affected by violent crime, among other excellent causes.
The foundation was set up by Dr William Petit after the violent series of crimes that took the lives of his wife and two children last July.
The entire state of Connecticut has been deeply affected by these crimes and the local support and charitable effort in the Petit and Hawke family names continues to be steadfast, this nearly one year after the crimes occurred.
There have been multiple memorials and honorariums raising both money and awareness for different charities over the past 12 months, each organized with the core intention of keeping the Petit women and children's memory and spirit of activism alive, and in the forefront of our collective conscience.
Since the judge that is presiding over the criminal case has placed a gag order on those involved in the case, little has been written in the traditional press re the crimes and the ongoing criminal cases since the order took effect in October 07.
There has however been a great deal of attention and debate over the States woefully ineffective criminal justice system, which in retrospect, clearly aided and abetted these crimes in happening.
The Connecticut legislature, urged by Governor Rell, convened in a special emergency session addressing judicial reform in January and managed to pass some immediate judicial reform bills, but not without a fair amount of dissent and grumbling by some state legislators as well as members of the appropriations committee, the latter lamenting the costs to the state and debating the neccesity.
The general assembly met again in their regular session early May and passed a snaller number of crime reform bills, including a persistent offender law that is more likely to actually be used than the convoluted version that has stood largely unused by prosecutors, since its inception years ago. A publiclly supported tho hotly contested version of the three strikes law did not pass muster within the senate or house,leaving minortiy republicans and the Governor very dissapointed and vowing to redress the issue.
Dr Petit has made it clear that he wishes to focus on who his family members were and what they stood for during their lives, rather than the focusing upon the senseless violence of their deaths.
In this way it seems that he may restore them to a positive place in his and our memory, rather than their being forever relegated to "victims"
Area Connecticut residents have honored this and responded sensitively-with events running the gamut from a area-wide candlelight display, basketball and golf fund raiser, the former organized by friends of Haley Petit, who at 17 was an avid basketball player and fan.
And recently, Cheshire, Plainville and Litchfield were among several towns where Volunteers turned out in record amounts for the annual "MS walk", an event that was a yearly tradition for the Petit clan.
This year, friends of the Petit children organized and sponsored walk groups in the Petits name and helped the area to raise record funds for the MS Society, a charity in which the whole family was involved with since Jennifer Hawke Petit was diagnosed with the disease at age forty.
See the link above and below for details regarding the upcoming Race.
You may pre-register for the race and the fitness walk via the race Website, although same day registration is also available, beginning 2 hours prior to the start of the Race.
Pre- race registrars and the first 100 same day counterparts will receive Race day T-shirts commemorating the event.