Winnebago County CASA hosts inaugural Race the Runway event Oct. 4

Staff Report

Winnebago County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), in partnership with the Chicago Rockford International Airport, will host its inaugural Race the Runway Oct. 4. The event features four short to moderate runs in a unique setting and offers a flat, straight course of varying distances for participants of all ages.

Race the Runway offers a fun, family-friendly event in a location that is typically off limits,” said Leslie Erickson, race organizer. “We are thankful for the support of our sponsors, staff and volunteers, and hope to make this an annual event.”

Nearly 1,500 cases are open in abuse and neglect court this year, a 33 percent increase from three years ago. CASA advocates are trained volunteers who take on some of the toughest cases to ensure each child has a voice. Winnebago County has more than 130 volunteers work with close to 300 juveniles.

Taryn Marko, CASA program director, said: “We are excited to raise awareness and funds for CASA while promoting health and fitness in our community. We look forward to seeing all of the participants come out in support of CASA’s mission to be the voice for abused and neglected children in the Winnebago County court system.”

Music, entertainment and a health expo will also be featured on the grounds. The event will be held rain or shine, and registration is open until Oct. 2. Fees range from $15 to $45 and include a T-shirt. All proceeds are used in Winnebago County to recruit, train and support CASA volunteers. For more information and to register, visit

CASA is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization that advocates for abused and neglected children within the Juvenile Court system. For more about CASA and training sessions, call the CASA office at (815) 319-6880.

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