A pack of superheroes hit the road in Audubon Park Sunday and compete in a 5K, children's 1K and costume contest, and there's a separate costume contest for pets. There's music by the Brass-A-Holics after the race and food from local food trucks.
The Superhero Race benefits Court Appointed Special Advocates of New Orleans (CASA New Orleans) and Greater New Orleans Child Abuse Prevention Effort (GNO CAPE). CASA New Orleans advocates for the rights and welfare of abused and neglected children.
The first Superhero Race took place in Austin, Texas in 2008, and its founders created the Superhero Foundation. CASA organizations around the country are initiating their own superhero races to raise funds and awareness about child abuse. Enlisting heroes and superheroes to advocate for kids fits CASA's mission, and CASA New Orleans is spending the month profiling heroes on its Facebook page. Some are familiar Marvel Comics characters and others are familiar faces who had unconventional childhoods. They include people who were orphaned, adopted or lived in foster care. Babe Ruth was neglected and spent time in a group home. Cher also spent time in a group home and was later reunited with her mother.
All the children CASA New Orleans serves have been removed from their homes, says director Joy Bruce. Some will be able to return to their families. Other children will not be able to, and will enter foster care and/or adoption. There are currently 700 children in Louisiana in foster care and eligible for adoption, Bruce says. More than 40 children die every year in Louisiana as a result of abuse or neglect. Louisiana ranks third in the nation in number of child abuse deaths, and in 2013, two thirds of the children were under three years old.
Gambit profiled CASA New Orleans work here.