Children’s Advocacy Center hopes to raise $5K through annual 5K

  • The Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin County and North Quabbin Inc. at 56 Wisdom Way in Greenfield. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 8/18/2021 6:00:28 PM

GREENFIELD — Organizers of the fifth annual Race to End Child Abuse, hosted each year by the Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin County and North Quabbin, are calling all superheroes to the starting line on Sunday.

Even Spider-Man is expected to make an appearance, according to Race Director Samantha Staelens.

“He will be there around 8:15 in the morning and will be there throughout the race,” she said.

Participants can either walk or run the route, which starts at the Franklin County Fairgrounds on Wisdom Way before turning onto Munson Street, down White Birch Avenue, and circling back on Munson Street and Wisdom Way.

Sign-in and registration begins at 8 a.m.

The Kid’s Superhero Fun Run at the fairgrounds infield begins at 8:40 a.m. The 5K for runners and walkers, then, will begin at 9 a.m.

“This year (for the Fun Run), we purchased these really nice superhero capes that say ‘brave’ on the back, and they have red eye masks,” Staelens said.

In celebration of the fifth year, she said, the race will be attended by several “local superheroes,” including Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan, Officer Donut of the Greenfield Police Department, junior firefighters and members of Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA).

State Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, also plans to participate, Staelens said.

“She’s been extremely supportive of the CAC, and she will be there with her family,” Staelens said.

Swag bags will be given out, and the organizing committee has generated a unique playlist that can be accessed by families on music streaming services while they walk or run the course.

Last year, the road race was held remotely, with people participating between Sept. 13 and Sept. 27 and sharing their experiences on social media. Staelens said she’s “really excited” to be back in person.

“I can’t wait to see people and faces and have kids playing around, and watch them have fun and be together,” she said. “I’m just so looking forward to hearing them laugh and relax, and have fun.”

Online registration — $15 donation for runners, $10 for walkers — can be completed at bit.ly/3iUBFLD until 5 p.m. on Aug. 20, though same day registration is also available. Youths ages 16 and under run for free.

Prizes will be awarded to top finishers, the top fundraiser and the participant with the best superhero costume.

“We very much encourage everyone to dress up,” Staelens said.

Staelens said the organizing committee has a goal of $5,000 this year. Just under $2,000 had been raised as of Tuesday morning.

“(Fundraising) goes right back into the Children’s Advocacy Center to keep our programs running,” she explained.

The Children’s Advocacy Center focuses on the needs of children and their families, and through it, they are linked to medical, mental health, victim advocacy and other services on a case-by-case basis.

“With COVID last year, we had a pretty significant decrease in fundraising,” Staelens said, “and as a nonprofit, we rely pretty heavily on fundraising to keep ourselves open.”

Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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