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5K Run/Walk benefits child advocacy center

Participants encouraged to wear costumes

October 02, 2013
There is still time to sign up to help a good cause while also getting some exercise. The Strong Bodies, Safe Families 5K Run/Walk will take place Saturday morning in Milltown.

As of last week, 103 people had signed up for the fundraiser for the Southwestern Indiana Child Advocacy Center Coalition and Crawford County Prevent Child Abuse.

SWICACC's Cheryl Hillenburg, who also is the Crawford County prosecuting attorney, said the fundraiser is important for the organization as it awaits word on a Victims of Crime Act grant application with the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

"We absolutely need this to be a good event, because, if we don't get the grant, how are we going to pay for the supplies that we need?" she asked.

The ICJI VOCA grant, which originally was scheduled to take effect Oct. 1, would be for $55,000. In addition to materials, including fireproof safes, DVDs, hard drives and flip charts, it would be used to provide training and to fund a coordinator's position, Hillenburg said.

Hillenburg didn't release the name of the person who would be the coordinator, but said she is from SWICACC's seven-county service area. Besides Crawford, SWICACC serves child abuse victims from Daviess, Dubois, Martin, Orange, Perry and Spencer counties.

Persons in each of the counties are trained to conduct taped interviews of children who allegedly have been abused or neglected. While it doesn't eliminate the need for multiple interviews, it does reduce the number of times the child must go through the process.

SWICACC has seen the number of children interviewed increase substantially since it was formed. From June 1, 2010, through May 31, 2011, 91 children were interviewed. That number nearly doubled, to 171, the following year and increased to 251 from June 1, 2012, through May 31, 2013. In total, SWICACC had conducted 484 forensic interviews, including 91 in Crawford County, through May of this year.

Hillenburg said SWICACC officials chose the "Strong Bodies, Safe Families" theme for the event because they wanted the event to promote the idea of a healthy family.

"We've got people ranging in age from 3 to we've got some people, I believe one lady is 75," she said.

The run/walk will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Milltown Elementary School. The route will travel east along Hancock Street and then downtown before crossing Blue River and continuing on Main Street. It then will wrap its way north to Hill Street before connecting back on to Main Street and heading back over Blue River. From there, it will go through downtown past the post office and up the hill to Church Street, then Poplar Street and finally Speed Road back to MES.

Adding to the fall fun, participants are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes, with first-, second- and third-place prizes for both best children's and adult costume. Prizes also will be given for overall fastest male and female runners and fastest male and female runners in the following age categories: under 18, 18 through 29, 30 through 39 and 40 and older.

Hillenburg said many people have worked to organize the event, including Terry Allen, who mapped the route, the Milltown Police Department, which will have personnel stationed throughout the route, Brandy Himsel of the Dubois County Prosecutor's Office, Meijer, which donated bananas and water for participants, Hoosier Hills PACT and Dana Wellborn.

Wellborn, who is president of Prevent Child Abuse who also works for Ireland Home Based Services, "was essential in obtaining sponsorships and planning the 5K and designing front of the T-shirt," she said.

David Campbell, who is the counselor at Marengo and Milltown Elementary school, is the race director.

"This wouldn't happen without him and Pacers and Racers" of New Albany, which is loaning everything needed for the event and has provided a checklist to make sure everything is covered, Hillenburg said.

In addition to more than 100 participants, the event has received sponsorships of various levels by close to 40 individuals and businesses, Hillenburg said.

Registration for the Strong Bodies, Safe Families 5K Run/Walk will continue through Saturday morning; however, the cost for those who pre-register is $25. The cost to sign up at the event will be $30.

For more information, contact Hillenburg at 633-2504 or via e-mail at SIRVAW@juno.com.

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