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Participants to race for ‘super’ cause — in capes, tights

This article was originally published March 14, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. Updated March 13, 2013 at 11:20 a.m.

participants-take-off-during-last-years-kidsfest-superhero-race-which-benefits-the-childrens-advocacy-alliance-of-north-central-arkansas-the-event-will-be-saturday-at-the-faulkner-county-courthouse-in-conway-and-a-childrens-music-festival-and-activities-will-be-held-afterward-in-simon-park-in-downtown-conway

Participants take off during last year’s Kidsfest Superhero Race, which benefits the Children’s Advocacy Alliance of North Central Arkansas. The event will be Saturday at the Faulkner County Courthouse in Conway, and a Children’s Music Festival and activities will be held afterward in Simon Park in downtown Conway.

— If you’ve been wondering where to wear that cape that is hanging in your closet, here’s your chance.

Kidsfest Superhero Race 2013 is scheduled for April 6 in Conway as a fundraiser for the Children’s Advocacy Alliance of North Central Arkansas.

The event starts at 8 a.m. with registration at the Faulkner County Courthouse on Locust Avenue in downtown Conway. The race culminates with festival-type activities in Simon Park on Front Street.

A 5K for all ages begins at 9 a.m., and a 1K Superhero race starts at 10 a.m. for kids 10 and younger (parents can run, too).

An awards ceremony will be held at 10:45 on the Kris Allen Stage in Simon Park.

At 11 a.m., super heroes can strut their stuff in a costume parade on the stage, and prizes will be awarded.

Music, face painting, a bounce house and more will be held from

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Events are free, but refreshments may require a donation.

Kat Dull, director of development for the alliance, said the fundraiser helps physically and sexually abused children.

“We’re focused on helping children in our community, so [the money raised] doesn’t leave the community and is helping our own kids,” she said.

The Children’s Advocacy Alliance is the umbrella organization for Court Appointed Special Advocates for the 20th Judicial District and the Central Arkansas Children’s Advocacy Center. Children who are victims of alleged abuse are interviewed in the Conway center “in a nonthreatening environment” by a forensic specialist, Dull said.

The interviews are videotaped so other agencies involved in the cases can view them.

“The child ends up only having to be interviewed once rather than by multiple people,” she said.

Dull said that last year 174 children were seen at the center.

“This fiscal year, we’re already in the 130 range [of child interviews], so we’re going to do more than 174 by the end of June,” Dull said.

The alliance is a nonprofit organization that serves Faulkner, Van Buren, Conway, Pope and Searcy counties.

Money is always needed, but it is becoming more of an issue, Dull said.

“Grant funding is definitely tightening up, particularly from private sources and foundations,” Dull said.

The alliance receives “a small amount of funding” from the United Way of Central Arkansas, she said.

Race registration before March 22 is $25 for the 5K and $10 for the 1K, and after that date is $35 and $20, respectively.

Early registration includes a T-shirt, Dull said.

“While it is a family-themed event, if you are a more serious runner, there is chip timing available” for the 5K race, she said.

Race and costume awards will be given out on the Kris Allen Stage in Simon Park.

It’s not required to show up as a caped crusader, “but it’s more fun,” Dull said.

“We encourage everybody to come dressed up,” she said. “Last year, we had a couple of families who came in a coordinated superhero theme for their entire family, which was really fun.”

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Dull said, and races like this one are held throughout the country.

More information is available at hopeandjustice.org/events/kidsfest.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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