Outdoor enthusiasts who have a heart for health and community causes are invited to run, walk or toddle for child abuse prevention and awareness June 8 at Fletcher Park for the Blue Ribbon Run.
Blue ribbons are the awareness symbol for child abuse.
The Bradley County office of The H.O.P.E. Center: Children’s Advocacy Center is holding the 5-kilometer run to raise funds to provide the “Stewards of Children: Darkness to Light” child abuse prevention program to community organizations free of charge.
The CAC 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.
Cost to register is $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. Cost for children to participate is $10.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the run/walk begins at 9 a.m.
Registration cost for a family of four is $80 on the day of the race.
Executive director Theresa Grant said the organization is working to get local companies and organizations to be shirt sponsors for $100.
“It’s a prevention geared toward adults (focusing on) child abuse awareness for adults and how to protect children,” Grant said. “Anyone who works with a group of children — churches, youth groups, sports groups, anybody who is working with a child population would benefit from the Darkness to Light curriculum. “
The training costs The H.O.P.E. Center $10 per person. However, Grant said the organization wants to offer the program for free. Proceeds from the Blue Ribbon Run will be used to offset this cost.
Darkness to Light is a three-hour training session that uses victims’ stories to bring awareness and understanding to this issue. The training also provides best practices for working with children.
The race will be the Bradley County office’s first fundraiser.
To register for the race, call the H.O.P.E. Center’s Bradley County office at 790-5740.