By Alyssa Schnugg
You may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, wear a cape or shoot spider webs from your hands but you can be a superhero to hundreds of Mississippi children.
On March 30, hundreds of “superheroes” will assemble at Avent Park for the inaugural CASA Superhero 5K and Kids Fun Run races to help support local children in foster homes.
Lafayette County Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, work with local judges, the Department of Human Services, the Guardian Ad Litem program and other organizations in order to provide children with a safe and healthy environment in permanent homes.
CASA workers are volunteers who speak up for children who have been abused or neglected as they navigate the court system.
When the state steps in to protect a child’s safety, a judge appoints a trained CASA volunteer, a true superhero, to make independent and informed recommendations concerning the child’s best interest.
The 2019 CASA Superhero Run on March 30th will feature masked and caped runners, a superhero costume contest, villains to chase, photo opportunities with superhero characters, music, bounce house, family-friendly activities, tasty treats and more.
Early bird registration runs through March 23 at $30 for the 5k and $20 for the Kids Fun Run. After March 23 it increases by $5. The 5K will begin at 8 a.m. with the Kids Run following.
Superhero costumes are not required but encouraged.
“We also have an option for those that can’t be here that weekend or don’t want to run or walk,” said Erin Smith, founder and executive director of the Lafayette County CASA chapter. “ Being a Spirit Runner means you can sign up to be there in spirit and receive a T-shirt and support the cause.”
The cost to be a Spirit Runner is $20.
Funds are used for basic operations for CASA and also for the cost it takes to provide for one child in foster care for up to a year which is $1,400.
“This allows us to help provide resources that they may need when Child Protective Services has exhausted their budget per child for basic unmet needs,” Smith said.
To sign up for the races or make a donation to CASA, visit casasuperherorun.racesonline.com.