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CASA to host Superhero Race

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Staff Reports

RATCLIFF LAKE –  April is Child Abuse Awareness month and the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) are kicking it off right with a costumed 5K Superhero Race. The event will benefit the abused and neglected children of Houston, Angelina and Polk counties.

The race will be held on March 25 at Ratcliff Lake Recreation area.

The first race, a 13-mile half-marathon, begins at 8 a.m. and runners will trek an all-terrain course including bridges, hills and the scenic country roads of Houston County.

The 5K race will begin at 8:15 a.m. and will be 3.1 scenic miles through the Ratcliff Park camping loops, lakeside loops and tree covered park roads.

A fun run begins at 9 a.m. and the event will include many activities for the whole family.

Registration fees for the races are $35 for the 5K, $85 for the 1/2 marathon (13 miles) and the fun run is $25. On the day of the race the fee is $5 more.

Event Manager Jillian Bertsch explained the proceeds from the races benefit several aspects of CASA’s services to the children in need.

“We train community volunteers to advocate for the best interest of children in the foster care system,” Bertsch said.

CASA opened its doors in 1996 and has been serving the legal advocacy needs of abused and neglected children since. The organization serves all ages of children in need of assistance.

“Once a child comes into care, CASA is appointed by the judge in the case. We come in and appoint one of the advocate volunteers who gets to know the child, who goes to see them in their placement, visits them at school and other supportive things,” she said.

“The volunteer advocates for the child by finding out what the child wants to happen in their case and what’s in the child’s best interests. They prepare reports and go to court and advocate for the interest of that child,” Bertsch said.

Volunteers for CASA are always welcome.

“They can contact our office and we will put them in touch with Chris Barley, who does all of our trainings,” Bertsch said.

For information, contact CASA at 936-634-6725. Race registrations can be completed online at www.active.com.