Area runners came out April 1 to support the annual Helen’s Haven Children’s Advocacy Center’s 5K fundraiser, which raises awareness for National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.
There were more than 100 registered runners supporting the organization’s mission to prevent child abuse and to provide healing for children who have experienced abuse or trauma.
The center opened in May 2005 and has served approximately 1,900 children and their families, and provided child abuse prevention and awareness information to more than 24,000 adults and children.
Helen’s Haven served more than 250 children last year. All of the therapy services, forensic interviews, medical evaluations and prevention services are provided free to children and their families in the six counties of the Atlantic Judicial Circuit: Liberty, Long, Bryan, McIntosh, Tattnall and Evans.
This is the sixth year the Fraser Counseling Center sponsored the annual race. Like Helen’s Haven, the counseling center is under the Mary Lou Fraser Foundation for Families umbrella of services.
Highlights of the race included participation from the Long County School System’s Walker Elementary Running Club. The fifth-grade running group, brought 35 runners, including their teacher, sponsors and Principal Shawn Peek. The Walker Wildcats Running Club runs together two or three times a week and participates annually in a local race.
There were also local groups volunteering help, including Girl Scout Cadette Troop 30630 and members of the Liberty County High School JROTC.
Terri Liles, coordinator of Helen’s Haven, thanked the runners, volunteers and sponsors, who this year, included Mike Reed Chevrolet, Bryan County Family Connection and GeoVista Credit Union.
The 5K raised about $2,600 for Helen’s Haven.