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ATTLEBORO - New Hope, a nonprofit organization working to end domestic and sexual violence, has canceled a road race that had been planned for Saturday, June 6 in Franklin.

In an emailed news release, the agency said that what would have been its inaugural 5K Race and Family Fun Walk had to be canceled due to scheduling conflicts reported by the Franklin School District.

The agency, which had been issued a permit for the race by the Town of Franklin on March 4, was notified May 7 by the Franklin School District that the permit to use the Remington-Jefferson School grounds had been issued in error.

A meeting to determine alternative dates or locations was subsequently held between New Hope and own of Franklin agencies, but the school was unable to accommodate the request.

"Obviously we are saddened by the school district's decision, as the race was an opportunity to promote the free community safety services offered by New Hope to Franklin residents. But, as an agency that coaches resilience, we're going to regroup and try a new approach to reach those in need of our help," said New Hope Executive Director Marcia Szymanski.

That new approach will be to hold a virtual New Hope 5K, an effort that has been launched via CrowdRise, an online crowd sourcing platform.

"We're encouraging our supporters to share their stories and show their love for New Hope through a virtual community," she said.

Participants who have registered for the race will be contacted directly by New Hope regarding refunds, she added.

As far as why the agency created the race in the first place, Szymanski said: "New Hope decided to create a family-friendly race to underscore the fact that domestic and sexual violence are community issues that can be defeated when we come together, united for a cause."

The New Hope Virtual 5K can be found at: https://www.crowdrise.com/NewHopeVirtual5K

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