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Superheroes to benefit Tri-Lakes CASA

by Lindsey Wells | August 20, 2018 at 4:00 a.m.

Caped crusaders will take over Convention Boulevard in September to raise funds and awareness on behalf of abused and neglected children in the court system.

Tri-Lakes CASA is partnering with Visit Hot Springs to host the Tri-Lakes CASA Spa-Con Superhero Fun Run on Sept. 22 in conjunction with the third annual Spa-Con, a multigenre entertainment and comic convention. Both are set to be held at the Hot Springs Convention Center.

The event will feature pre-race stretches with popular superheroes, a 2K fun run, selfie spots and a costume contest.

The registration table opens at 8 a.m. for packet pickup on the day of the event and the run starts at 9:30 a.m. Packet pickup is also available from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 21 at the convention center.

According to Desternie Sullivan, executive director of Tri-Lakes CASA, the Superhero Fun Run has become a national CASA event and is especially prominent in Texas. She said the purpose of the event is to raise funds and awareness and to give the community a chance to be heroes for children in need.

"My team and I say that our volunteers are everyday superheroes; we say it all the time, they wear invisible capes as they make a difference in the lives of kids," she said. "That's been a running thing throughout CASA, that we work with everyday superheroes and this was a great way of combining things that most people love. Marvel is huge, and then with our saying that we're 'everyday superheroes,' it was a great way for us to invite the community to also be superheroes for these kids."

The national CASA network serves more than 250,000 children and youths who have been neglected and abused and have been paired with a trained volunteer advocate. Its mission is to provide trained volunteer advocates to safeguard the best interests of abused and neglected children in dependency-neglect cases by providing factual information to guide decisions made on their behalf, a news release said.

Funds raised through sponsorships and entry fees will go directly to Tri-Lakes CASA which serves children in Garland, Hot Spring, and Grant counties.

Sullivan said proceeds from fundraisers like the Superhero Fun Run go to recruit, train and support the volunteer advocates in addition to supporting the children.

"Sometimes needs come up for the children, sometimes we'll help with things like graduation and there are times where kids may need something spur of the moment, but the main goal is to help us recruit, train and support community advocates who will be volunteers for these abused and neglected children," she said.

Fun run participants are encouraged to dress up as their favorite superhero. The first 100 children and 100 adults to register will receive a custom superhero cape and mask, and all registered runners/walkers will receive complimentary general admission to Spa-Con.

The costume contest will be held immediately following the race with awards for best costume.

Southern Bancorp is the presenting sponsor of the event and Crawford Law Firm is the Medal Sponsor.

Sullivan said several area churches are also looking at sponsoring teams.

"What some churches are doing is they're sponsoring a team and our goal is to donate those registrations to our foster families and relatives who are caring for relatives in foster care to give them a family fun day out," she said.

The registration fee is $30 for individuals until Sept. 1, $35 after Sept. 1 and $40 on the day of the event. Families with no more than four members can sign up for $100, and teams of no more than 10 can sign up for $250.

Visit http://www.tri-lakescasa.org or the Tri-Lakes CASA Facebook page for the fun run registration link. Call 501-321-9269 for more information.

Local on 08/20/2018

Print Headline: Superheroes to benefit Tri-Lakes CASA

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