CAC to raise child abuse prevention funds in 5K
by JOYANNA WEBER, Banner Staff Writer
May 22, 2013 | 970 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Hope Center: Children’s Advocacy Center’s Bradley County office will host its first 5K run at Fletcher Park on June 8.

The Blue Ribbon Run will raise funds for the office’s child abuse awareness/prevention efforts.

“We want to start doing a couple of fundraisers a year, and we were using this year to launch one,” executive director Theresa Grant said.

Grant said Fletcher Park was chosen because the logistics were simpler.

To make the event more family friendly the organization is giving participants the option of running or walking, Grant said. The two groups will start at different times.

The Hope Center works with local courts and law enforcement to provide evidence in cases when an investigation into whether a child has been sexually abused is required. The Center also provides counseling services to children who are recommended from these sources.

Intern Chelsey Campbell, who graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on May 4, helped the organization develop its idea for the Blue Ribbon Run.

Campbell said she had heard about the organization from a police officer who’s part of a family she babysits for. The officer was also helping her try to find internships.

Campbell said she saw the internship as a way of giving back to her community

“She has really focused on making us more visible in the community,” Grant said. “We are so busy doing our jobs that we don’t have time to do these events that make us more visible.”

Cost to register is $25 in advance and $30 the day of the race. Registration includes a participation T-shirt. A children’s “Kiddie K” walk for those 12 and under begins at 9:15 a.m.

Registration cost for a family of four is $70 for pre-registration and $80 on the day of the race.

Grant said the organization is working to get local companies and organizations to be shirt sponsors for $100.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the run/walk begins at 9 a.m.

Raising awareness and preventing the sexual abuse of children is at the heart of the event.

Funds from the event will go toward making a program called “Stewards of Children: Darkness to Light” available to local organizations that work with children.

“It’s a prevention geared toward adults (focusing on) child abuse awareness for adults and how to protect children,” Grant said. “Anyone that works with a group of children — churches, youth groups, sports groups, anybody that is working with a child population would benefit from the Darkness to Light curriculum. “

The training costs The Hope Center $10 per person. However, Grant said the organization wants to offer the program free of charge. Proceeds from the Blue Ribbon Run will be used to offset this cost.

Darkness to Light is a three-hour training that uses victims’ stories to bring awareness and understanding to this issue. The training also provides best practices for working with children.

To register for the race, call The Hope Center’s Bradley County Office at 790-5740.

The Hope Center hopes to make this an annual event.