October 1 – October 31 – Martinsburg, W.Va. – Every child needs a champion, someone in their corner who will fight for their best interests. This October, CASA of the Eastern Panhandle is hosting its second Superhero Challenge to raise support for the most vulnerable children across the region.

Unlike a normal road race during which hundreds or thousands of runners gather on the same path at the same time, the CASA-EP Superhero Challenge can be completed at your own pace, in your own way, and wherever you go. For the second year in a row, participants can follow their own pursuit in the way they want to make a difference for children in this community.

“Our first year doing the Superhero Challenge was a true adventure for us all, but this region met it with great enthusiasm. Over $47,000 was raised to support children in this community, with participants and supporters from all over the nation,” said Michelle Sudduth, executive director of CASA-EP. “We are confident that it will be a great time for participants again this year.”

Run, walk, hike, bike, and get active however you like to support this activity challenge throughout the month of October. Join the fun on your own, with your kids, friends, or colleagues, and get active for a good cause.

“In the era of social distancing, this event is a really fun way to stay engaged, have some fun, be active and also explore the region,” said Kerry Asam, Superhero Challenge committee chairperson. “I had a great time last year hiking new trails and seeing all the pictures of families out running or biking in their costumes, all to benefit CASA and the kids we support.”

Challengers can register for the Superhero Challenge and track progress on the atlasGO app under CASA of the Eastern Panhandle to get a headstart. After transaction costs, 100% of each Superhero Challenge registration fee is a donation to be used to help real-life superhero volunteers provide advocacy and support to children whose lives have been turned upside down by neglect, abuse, and abandonment.

Over 500 children in the Eastern Panhandle are currently involved in cases before the court system due to abuse or neglect. Record numbers of youth have been removed from their homes since the beginning of the pandemic, nearly double that of 2019. Thankfully, many of those children— usually the most challenging cases—are served by a dedicated CASA volunteer and supported by a highly skilled staff team. But more superheroes are desperately needed to help fight for their best interests in court and in this community.

Research has shown children with a CASA volunteer spend 5 months less time in out-of-home of foster care, are less likely to re-enter the foster care system, and do better in school. Our Superhero Challenge will raise awareness for the needs of these children and bring more advocacy for them through our efforts at CASA-EP.

Get active in your own way to become a CASA-EP superhero in your community. Learn more, become a sponsor, or register to participate at www.mycasaep.org.

CASA-EP believes that every child who’s been abused or neglected deserves to have a dedicated advocate speaking up for their best interest in court, at school, and in our community. To accomplish this, CASA-EP educates and empowers diverse community volunteers who ensure that each child’s needs remain a priority in an overburdened child welfare system. Apply, donate, or learn more at www.mycasaep.org, call 304-263-5100, or find CASA of the Eastern Panhandle on social media.