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Superhero run to help provide advocates for Montgomery County foster care children

October 3, 2018

While searching for the perfect Halloween costume this year, some may be stocking up on superhero gear in preparation for a different event.

The ninth annual Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, of Montgomery County Superhero Run and Walk is to take place Saturday, Nov. 10, with the opening ceremony to begin at 8 a.m.

Executive Director Ann McAlpin said that this is one of three major community awareness and fundraiser events the organization puts on.

“The superhero theme is perfect for what we do. The kids in the foster care system need a superhero; everybody needs a superhero,” McAlpin said.

CASA’s mission is to provide an adult advocate to every Montgomery County child who has been placed in foster care because their home is no longer safe. The advocate is appointed by a judge to represent the child’s best interests during their parent’s court proceedings. The advocate visits the child monthly and reports back on all sides of the child’s situation.

The November run, which begins and ends at The Woodlands Christian Academy and snakes through the W.G. Jones State Forest along the way, raises money to sustain that mission.

Participants can register online for the 5K for $35 and the 1-mile fun run or walk for $25. On the day of the race, it will cost an additional $5 to register, starting at 7 a.m. that morning. Everyone is encouraged to come dressed in their superhero garb.

Allison Stephens, CASA’s marketing and communications director, said that they would love to raise $40,000 this year.

Stephens said that it costs $1,500 to provide one advocate for one foster child for one year, which is the average length of a case. That cost includes staffing case supervisors to help oversee advocates to ensure the minimum expectations are being met and records are being kept up to date, as well as training costs and background checks for the advocates.

Last year, almost 700 children were served in the county by more than 250 advocates.

Jenny Wright, who recently became an advocate, is chairing the event for the first time this year.

“Having gone through the training myself, seeing how things work and truly being part of it, it makes it even more special for me to help make a difference in a child’s life,” Wright said.

Since the event falls on Veteran’s Day weekend, veterans will be honored at the beginning of the event. The event also includes music, food and activities for children and families. Prizes and awards are to be given out for the top runners by age group and gender, and top individual and team fundraisers are to be recognized also. Mike and Ally Seder of The Seder Group Real Estate, RE/MAX The Woodlands & Spring are helping to sponsor the event.

Those who do not wish to run or walk can also volunteer their time to set up beforehand or even help during the event.

Wright said that everyone who participates in helping abused or neglected children out of their situation is a superhero.

“The children of Montgomery County are our legacy. We need to stop abuse and neglect and this organization makes it happen,” Wright said.

jane.stueckemann@chron.com

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