Jenny’s Story

Jennifer (Jenny) Heeren was a 29-year old Grand Rapids resident who lost her life to domestic violence. On July 7, 2011, just three days after she fled her abusive husband, Rodrick Dantzler, Dantzler shot and killed Jenny, their daughter, Kamrie, Jennifer’s parents, Tom and Rebecca, and three other individuals.

Following this tragic event, the family of the Heerens chose Safe Haven Ministries as a recipient of memorial donations, and expressed their desire to help end the epidemic of domestic violence in our community.

As part of that desire, the Heeren family partnered with Safe Haven Ministries, and in May of 2012, began the first Running For Jenny team.

Continuing the tradition, family, friends, and community members unite annually as the Running For Jenny team, and participate in the River Bank Run in an effort to raise awareness and funds to prevent domestic violence.

Our Story

Every year, thousands of women and children run for help to flee abuse in their homes. And every day, three women are murdered attempting that run.

Jenny Heeren was one of those courageous women. On July 7, 2011, Jenny, her daughter, Kamrie, and her parents, Tom and Becky, were murdered at the hands of Jenny’s abusive husband.

For this reason, Safe Haven Ministries is committed to running.

Each year, Safe Haven runners and walkers will unite as team “Running For Jenny” in the Fifth Third River Bank Run.

We run not only to remember Jenny, but to join in solidarity for women who, like Jenny, have run, are running, and will run.

Safe Haven is grateful for and humbled by the Heeren family’s support of Running For Jenny, as well as their ongoing partnership in the fight against domestic violence.

This year marks the fifth-annual Running For Jenny team. We are hoping to reach 500 members who will commit to walk or run at least 5 kilometers as part of our “5 Years, 5K, 500 Strong” campaign.  Together we will take a stand against domestic violence and continue to honor Jenny and all those who have lost their lives as a result of domestic abuse. See you on May 14, 2016!