March 27, 2014 in Washington Voices

Superhero Fun Run to benefit kids in foster care

By The Spokesman-Review
 
If You Go

What: Superhero Fun Run

When: 10 a.m. Saturday

Register: 3-7 p.m. Friday at Fleet Feet Sports, 1303 N. Washington St., or 9 a.m. Saturday behind Gonzaga Law School, 721 N. Cincinnati St.

Cost: $25. All proceeds benefit CASA Partners. Children age 10 and younger run free.

For information about CASA Partners go to www.casapartners.org. For information about Teen Closet, go to www.teencloset.org

Superheroes are symbols of empowerment and fun – they save the day while wearing costumes.

This Saturday, Gonzaga Law School’s Child Advocacy Association, or CHAD, hopes to capture that spirit through the first Superhero Fun Run to benefit CASA Partners, a local nonprofit that supports children in foster care

“It just seemed like a good way to come together and do this for CASA Partners, to raise money for them, so they can have more to buy everything from the backpacks, or whatever it is, that kids in foster care or dependency don’t have,” said CHAD treasurer Michael Addams. The group hopes to raise $2,500 for the CASA Partners programs.

My Bag gives all area children entering foster care a backpack filled with age-appropriate supplies, a blanket and a stuffed toy. My School Bag provides school supplies to almost 300 school-age foster children each fall.

Needs From the Heart funds specific requests that social workers and foster parents can’t provide but that help kids fit in and have some normalcy, whether it’s getting a bicycle or a yearbook. Each summer the Bee Kind Garden builds trust and childhood wonder for about 50 children through mentoring relationships, activities and garden tending.

“There are a lot of things we take for granted and our kids take for granted, that a lot of Spokane youth don’t have and don’t have a way to get,” Addams said. “They want to be normal kids like everyone else.”

Bee Kind Garden director Sharrell Horwath said they are excited for the fundraising run and that each $25 race entry will make a difference in the life of a child.

“It is absolutely wonderful. They’re concerned about children like we are,” Horwath said. “We appreciate any support from people that care about what happens to our kids. Having this fundraiser to bring attention to foster children is fabulous …The more money we get the more we can do for them.”

Horwath said the superhero theme of the run fits what CASA Partners is trying to do for neglected and abused youth. “For them everything looks pretty bleak. We try to give them the confidence to do what they want to do,” she said. “That’s what we’re trying to impart to them. They’re special. They’re smart and can do anything they want to do.”

The chip-timed 5K race starts at 10 a.m. at the Gonzaga Law School and is open to runners and walkers, with children “sidekicks” and strollers welcome.

“We just want people to show up and have a good time and celebrate the superheroes, the kids and the people that support them,” Addams said. “There is a superhero in all of us. Kids are optional but highly encouraged.”

Though it’s too late to get a shirt, participants can still register during packet pickup from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday at Fleet Feet Sports, or on Saturday morning behind the Gonzaga Law School.

Race participants can also bring or wear clothes to donate to Teen Closet, a local nonprofit where foster, homeless and in-need teens can pick out new and gently used clothes.

“Just like Clark Kent sheds his work suit and has his costume on underneath, people can do that as well. Or bring clean clothes with them,” Addams said. “Teen Closet is another great organization in Spokane that benefits foster kids, mostly teenagers. …They are going through the same struggles. They may be going from house to house. This is another way to get the things they need to have a normal childhood.”

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