The Annual Red Shoe Run invites community members to move their feet to assist CASA Corridor of East Tennessee in its mission of advocating for the safety and well-being of neglected or abused children.
A 501(c)(3) non-profit, CASA Corridor of East Tennessee recruits and trains volunteers to serve as advocates for the best interests of children involved in court proceedings in McMinn, Meigs and Rhea counties, primarily resulting from child abuse and/or neglect.
Each year, the Red Shoe Run 5k and Awareness Walk is not only one of the local nonprofit’s biggest fundraisers for helping it serve the best interests of these children, but is also crucial in helping it gain volunteers to support its mission.
CASA Corridor of East Tennessee Founder and Executive Director Frances Witt-McMahan explained how important the event is for the organization’s sustainability.
“The Red Shoe Run is essential to our Spring advocate recruitment and training efforts,” she said. “Each year we are challenged to add new advocates to the growing need in our juvenile courts.”
The executive director also addressed the dual purpose the event serves.
“Funds raised from the 5K run help cover the expenses not allocated in grant funds,” Witt-McMahan revealed. “Another reason the run is important is to provide more awareness about the need for abused and neglected children to have a consistent, caring adult speaking out for their best interest.”
Other CASA leaders commented on the significance of the occasion, including Chloe Nance, the non-profit’s marketing and communication coordinator and AmeriCorps VISTA member.
Nance noted that while participants help support the organization’s mission, others who cannot attend can still sponsor the event, which she explained is equally as helpful.
She noted that the event has various sponsorship levels — and businesses who turn in forms by the deadline can have their logos on the run’s T-shirt — but she also hopes to provide donated snacks and drinks for attendees.
“My vision is to have water, coffee, fruit … we need food sponsors to have available for the participants and people present,” Nance said.
Dr. Vant Hardaway, CASA’s advocate supervisor for McMinn County, explained the Red Shoe Run is crucial for connecting community members to the non-profit — whether they want to support it or learn more about it.
“It’s one of our major community functions at CASA — it gives an opportunity to get children, families and adults involved in the community,” Hardaway said. “CASA is an agency helping children and youth, giving them a voice. The more people participating, the more people that come, helps encourage and support this work for CASA.”
According to officials, the event typically has a former CASA youth to speak about how having an advocate of the nonprofit organization helped shape his or her life.
The 9th Annual Red Shoe Run will be Saturday, April 27, at Eureka Trail in Athens. Registration begins at 6 a.m. and the 5k starts at 7:30 a.m. There will be a one-mile fun run and walk at 7:45 a.m.
There is a $20 registration fee per person, but the fee will be discounted to $15 for a team of 10 or more. All preregistered individuals will receive a commemorative T-shirt and participants who register the day of the event will receive a shirt while supplies last.
Participants will also receive socks and some will be eligible for awards.
Registration and sponsorship forms can be completed online or in-person by visiting the CASA Corridor of East Tennessee office.
To register online, visit the website https://www.eventbrite.com/e/red-shoe-run-2019-tickets-55645116040 or find the eventbrite page through the CASA Corridor of East Tennessee Facebook page.
Sponsors can submit forms by April 3. To complete sponsorship forms online, visit the website https://goo.gl/forms/nHoPWvtt F1Udfh8N2.
For more information about CASA, visit their website online at http://casacorridor.org or stop by the main office in Athens at 107 1/2 Park St. or the satellite office in Decatur at 345 N. Main St. Witt-McMahan may also be reached at 423-368-1703 or by email at casa_director@casacor ridor.org.