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Running for a Reason


Runners in San Bernardino, Calif., will hit the pavement in April for a special 5K charity road race designed to help residents be physically active and get involved during National Child Abuse Awareness Month.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of San Bernardino is sponsoring the 6th Annual Child Abuse and Violence Prevention Run/Walk, which is expected to draw hundreds of participants and shine a spotlight on the work being done to prevent child abuse in the county.

“Its main goal is raise awareness, and I think people like these type of events. It’s a chance to meet others and be active,” says CASA’s Kacie Phillips, a Leader. “We have vendors from the community come out, because we definitely like to put a spotlight on the people doing the work in the community and also let people know what resources are available to them.”

Proceeds from the race will support CASA, which works to improve the quality of life for children and youth in foster care. More than 5,400 children live in foster care in San Bernardino County, many of whom were abused and neglected by their families.

Along with advocating for the youngsters in juvenile court, CASA volunteers help build confidence in the kids and teens that are in foster care, including by hosting events such as movie nights. Along with the fun, CASA works to instill some healthy habits by serving healthy treats.

“We’re trying to have a shift away from pizza and soda and go toward sandwiches and veggie trays, so they aren’t just getting junk all the time,” Phillips says.

The run is another part of that get-healthy effort. It originally began as a short walk through San Bernardino’s downtown, but in its fourth year became a run-walk to draw avid runners. The race will be timed for the first time this year, providing an opportunity for those serious runners to set pace goals.

The race will be set up to include both a 5K and a 3K course, providing some options for folks who want to take part but don’t want to run or walk a full 3.1 miles. Registration is $20 for people 12 and up, $5 for children 5 to 11, and free for kids under 5. Teams with eight or more participants can register for $19 per person.

The event also will feature guest speeches and youth performances, Phillips says. “We do want our people to be healthy, and it makes it a nice event for the whole family,” she says.

Click here to connect with Kacie Phillips.