Admit it: you’re always looking for a worthy excuse to dress up like your favorite superhero. Maybe you wish you were Spider-Man, wrapping up bad guys and swinging down 6th Street in style. Or, perhaps you’re more of the brooding type feel most at home with the Congress bridge bats.
Whether or not you’re ready to own up to your super-nerdiness, the fact remains that on September 21st, you’ll have every reason to don your cape and tights for Austin’s 5th annual CASA Superhero Run.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a local non-profit that empowers community volunteers to advocate in the courts for children who have been abused or neglected. The CASA programs in Travis, Williamson, Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe, and Hays Counties join forces every year to host a superhero-themed Austin 5K, because “every child needs a hero, but abused children need superheroes.” Funds raised during these runs go toward recruiting and training new… well, superheroes!
For many, stepping into a superhero’s shoes might seem foreign, but CASA advocates fight for kids every day.
“Our CASA volunteers are true superheroes for kids who have been abused or neglected,” Callie Langford, Travis County CASA’s director of communications, told Austin.com. “Children with CASA volunteers are more likely to end up with their family, more likely to receive therapy, health care and education and do better in school, and less likely to be bounced from one place to another or get stuck in long-term foster care.”
This year’s heroics will begin at 7 a.m. at Cedar Park Center (2100 Avenue of the Stars) and will feature a 5K for adults, a kids 1K, bounce houses, a dance party, free food and drinks, a photo booth and #SuperSelfie station, a themed costume contest, and an aerial yoga performance by Four Elements Aerial & Creative Movement. Basic registration costs $20 for kids and $30 for adults, and super dogs are welcome to join as long as they are kept on a leash.
Race participants, including those of the canine variety, are strongly encouraged to attend the event in costume. Expect to see plenty of Batmans and Supermans, but a lot of new faces as well. Last year, one family wore giant fruit suits and called themselves “The Fruitastic Four.” A father and son duo turned heads in 2013 with their amazing Lego Batman and Superman outfits. And of course, there will always someone dressed up as a variation of “Captain Organic” or “Super Recycle Girl” here in green Austin.
Langford herself once attended as “The Navigator” because she’s passionate about guiding children through the overburdened foster care system.
“Superman was adopted,” she said. “Spiderman was raised by his aunt and uncle. Batman grew up with his butler, Alfred. Few superheroes grew up in a typical family situation raised by their own parents, yet they all accomplished great things as adults. We believe all children deserve the chance to grow up happy and healthy and become superhero adults themselves!”
Amen to that. To infinity and beyond!
To learn more about the 2014 Superhero Run and CASA’s work advocating for abused and neglected kids in the greater Austin area, visit www.casasuperherorun.com. You can register online for the event here: http://www.casasuperherorun.com/register.
Featured photo: Andrew Dorer, courtesy of CASA of Travis County