“It is important for me to break the cycle and to support other women so that they can do it as well,” said Puopolo, a Michigan native who relocated to Weymouth three years ago. “When I grew up, it would have been easier if my mother had more of a support system.”
Puopolo, a fitness trainer for Performance Sports in Malden, said she hopedto help raise approximately $200,000 with the assistance of 50 women who took part in a Wilderness Heals hike through the White Mountains in New Hampshire last weekend.
“Every hiker has to raise about $1,500,” she said. “In the past, they have raised $200,000.”
The Elizabeth Stone House helps adult and child survivors of domestic violence with a variety of programs that include support groups, emergency housing and counseling, according to its website.
“The money we raise will go toward helping them buy toiletries, clothing, and various types of entertainment,” Puopolo said. “There are kids in the shelters and there are people that stay there during Christmas and we will give them the funds to help them, like providing them with money they can buy a vehicle with.”
Donations are also being accepted on the Elizabeth Stone website: elizabethstone.org.
The funding provided by the hikers also will help assist the house staff with people who are struggling with substance abuse and mental illness, according to a Wilderness Heals summary.
“There are five teams and ten people on a team,” Puopolo said. “There are two group leaders. We will do different hikes that depend on our (skill) level.”
Puopolo said she would be hiking on Mt. Madison, which involves varying lengths for the teams.