It was an amazing turnout, and an even better fundraising effort by over 6,000 runners on Sunday during the Hot Chocolate Run in Northampton.

Berkshire County was well represented, as dozens of runners jumped on a school bus to participate in the event. According to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, $615,000 was raised in total for Safe Passage, which is an organization that provides counseling, shelter and advocacy to victims of domestic violence.

The fundraising goal of $575,000 was shattered on Sunday by the thousands of runners that took part in the event. The majority of participants took part in the 5K race, including Lanesborough native Michelle Murphy.

“It’s beautiful. It’s inspiring. It’s love from the region,” Murphy told the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

The Hot Chocolate Run, of course, featured hot chocolate, homemade from Northampton Brewery. For those looking to attend next year's event, there is something for everyone as far as participation goes. Along with the timed 5K race, it included a 3K walk, which dogs could take part in as well, and a noncompetitive fun run. Costumes are welcome as many of the runners took part dressed in Santa Claus outfits, as well as one-piece animal costumes.

Congratulations, an kudos, to all of our Berkshire County runners, including my wife Holly, who participated and helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for an amazing cause.