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Philipsburg nonprofit started in honor of shooting victim

By: Lauren Hensley

PHILIPSBURG, Pa. -- A new nonprofit is dedicated to raising awareness of domestic abuse and is taking shape in Centre County. The inspiration behind Break the Silence Ministries comes close to the year anniversary when an area woman was shot and killed in a murder-suicide by her estranged husband.

The Philipsburg community is still healing after this tragedy and it is bringing people in the community together to prevent domestic abuse. It was in March 2013, when Mark Miscavish, a retired state trooper entered the County Market store just outside of Philipsburg and shot and killed his wife Traci.

"So many people who ask us are you going to do anything," Tammy Schnarrs, Traci's sister said. "We were like, I don't know, I guess we never really thought about it but the more people that came to us the more we thought we need to have information about this for them."

Break the Silence Ministries is the vision of Schnarrs and Traci's best friend Sherri Farmery. The mission of the group is to raise awareness of domestic abuse and fundraiser for area shelters.

"It was hard for us to do and hard for us to decide to do," Schnarrs said. "But I think it is going to help us heal and give us another focus. We have a loss but if we can help someone else so no one else has to go through this and that is why we are here.

About a dozen people attended the group's first meeting. Schnarrs said it is a humble start but helping is healing.

The nonprofit is seeking volunteers and additional group members. If interested, the Break the Silence Ministries will have a planning meeting 6 p.m. Jan. 28. The group meets at the First Church of Christ in Philipsburg.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times