Lima superheroes race to fundraise

LIMA — Community members gathered Saturday morning to dress as their favorite superheroes and raise money for a local organization. Crime Victim Services hosted its annual Superhero 5K run through its Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program.

Over 95 people dressed up as superheroes like Wonderwoman, Wolverine, and Batman to support CASA.

The program is designed for abused/neglected children to receive an advocate as they are in transition to a permanent home. The program is run by trained volunteers in Putnam and Allen County. CASA has helped over 700 children since the beginning of its program in 2009.

“We help to train volunteers to serve in the best interest of the child,” said Rebecca Peckinpaugh, CASA program manager. “We gather up information and give that information back to the court and we make a recommendation on what we feel makes a safe stable and permanent home for that child.”

One volunteer, Jane Ward, joined the 5k to support the program and advocate for children across the area.

“What they do for the children for Allen and Putnam County is incredible,” said Ward. “Volunteers go through extensive training then they are assigned to a case. The volunteers then meet with the child or caregiver at least once a month.”

Volunteers advocate for the child for around 5-10 hours per month in Allen County and 10-20 hours per month in Putnam County.

In addition to monthly support from volunteers, CVS came up with a creative way to involve the community and bring awareness to its program.

“The Superhero 5k is something a lot of programs utilize so we thought it might be something fun to try out ourselves here in our community,” said Peckinpaugh. “We thought it might get some support and would be fun. We encourage people to wear superhero costumes. To dress up and have fun with it.”

This is the second year CASA has hosted the Superhero 5k. Peckinpaugh said they hope to continue to use the race as a fundraiser. The funding is to help with the recruitment and training of volunteers, said Peckinpaugh.

CVS is looking for more volunteers.

For more information or to become a volunteer visit

Reach Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.