CASA of Trinity Valley is inviting area runners to lace up their sneakers in support of abused and neglected children.
CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates, is hosting its annual superhero-themed 5K race and fundraiser at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 16, at the Cain Center, 915 S. Palestine St. in Athens. Attendees are invited to dress as their favorite superheroes for the event, which is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser.\
CASA recruits, screens and trains volunteers to speak in court for the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect.
“These children find themselves thrust into the foster care system through no fault of their own,” executive director Lee Ann Millender said. “Our volunteers get to know the children, and our ultimate goal is finding safe, permanent homes for them – whether that means going back to reformed parents, living with other family members or finding new hope through adoption.”
Last year, CASA volunteers advocated for 720 children in Henderson, Anderson and Cherokee counties. When a volunteer is appointed to a case by a county or district judge, the volunteer will begin visiting regularly with the child or children involved.
CASA volunteers also talk to others involved in the children’s lives: family members, teachers, counselors, caseworkers and more. They gather information, then make recommendations to the courts on the children’s best interests.
Those interested in participating in the CASA Superhero 5K are invited to register online at www.casaoftv.org. Click on Events.
Those interested in potentially being a volunteer are invited to fill out an application, also online. For more information, contact Emily Heglund, resource development officer, at (903) 675-7070.