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The Hot Chocolate Run is a community celebration of Safe Passage, the Hampshire County organization addressing domestic violence.

Join us for a fun and festive start to the holiday season. Spend time with family and friends, run a challenging 5K course with serious competitors, enjoy hot chocolate, and most importantly, support Safe Passage and our important programs for survivors of domestic violence.

Every one of our participants can make a big difference for people who have lived with domestic violence by fundraising for Safe Passage. Together, we’ll make our community safer for everyone.


About Safe Passage and our work

Safe Passage is the Hampshire County organization addressing domestic violence. Since 1977, Safe Passage has helped thousands of families achieve safety, build justice, and rebuild their lives in the wake of domestic violence. You can learn more about Safe Passage and domestic violence on our website.

Our many donors and supporters are a critical part of our work.

The Hot Chocolate Run has had an incredible impact on the lives of adults and children affected by domestic violence. This event has helped Safe Passage to respond to thousands of people in abusive relationships over the past ten years. The event has supported safe shelter, legal assistance, and critical counseling services for adults and kids who have lived with violence in their homes.

In the event’s fifteenth year, we are thinking big. We hope that this year’s Hot Chocolate Run will raise even more funds for Safe Passage than ever before.

We hope you’ll join us on December 2!

Event History

Jen Dieringer has been running 5ks, 10ks and more for as long as she can remember. Her husband, John Frey, has organized, promoted and participated in running and cycling events for years. Their combined interest in and experience with the sport of running sparked the enthusiasm that led to the first ever Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage in 2004.

The event was created as a fundraiser for Safe Passage, the Hampshire County non-profit agency addressing domestic violence. Jen’s choice to raise funds for Safe Passage was a reflection of her long-standing commitment to supporting survivors of domestic violence, as reflected in her work as a legal services attorney and as a member of the Safe Passage Board of Directors.

After months of enlisting volunteers, gathering donated goods and services, collecting financial support and registering participants, Jen, John and the Northampton community hosted the first annual Hot Chocolate Run on December 5, 2004. On a drizzly, cold morning when most people were still sleeping or groggily planning out their holiday shopping, over 200 runners and 250 walkers ran, walked and raised $6000 for Safe Passage. The turnout was beyond Jen and John’s wildest expectations! The energy and enthusiasm of the participants and supportive bystanders convinced us that this simply had to become an annual event.

Each year the number of sponsors and participants has soared, as has the amount of money the event has raised for Safe Passage. We’ve experienced incredible growth every year; in 2016, our 6,000 runners and walkers helped us raise more than $575,000!

In 2017, we’re celebrating our fourteenth year of this amazing event. We are so grateful to our thousands of runners and walkers, to our generous business sponsors and donors, and to our event volunteers for their incredible support of Safe Passage. Thank you all for your extraordinary support!