By Tess Malijenovsky
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Child Abuse Prevention Association of Beaufort (CAPA) is taking one giant step up this weekend to fight child abuse and neglect in the area. The local nonprofit is bringing keynote speaker Elizabeth Smart to rally this important cause as well as hosting the Step Up For Kids 5K/10K Race on Saturday, April 21.
Known in the past as the CAPA Angel Walk, this year’s race has been re-titled “Step Up For Kids” and will be professionally timed. The course will begin at the Waterfront Park downtown near the marina at Bay and Charles streets. Runners and walkers alike can enjoy the breathtaking vista and breeze as they run across the Woods Memorial Bridge. The race begins at 8 a.m., followed by an awards ceremony.
Elizabeth Smart will be at Waterfront Park to kick off the run with a few inspirational words about her story. Smart was abducted in 2002 when she was 14-years-old from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“Her story is one of overcoming child abuse and neglect. She gave her male abductor nine months of her life and didn’t want to give him a day more. So she has shown the story of hope and encourages other victims that there is a brighter tomorrow,” said Gloria Duryea of CAPA. “We love her message and her outlook of not giving your perpetrator another day of misery and to move forward and keep yourself safe.”
Elizabeth Smart will be the keynote speaker at the Step Up for Kids Rally on Friday, April 20, at Bluffton High School Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 General Admission, $20 at door. Anyone can sign on for the Step Up for Kids 5K/10K at 7 a.m. on race day for $35. In case of rain, bring an umbrella and sunny spirit.