Nearly 100 runners and walkers, some sporting superhero costumes, participated in The Guardian ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit’s inaugural “What’s your Superpower 5K Walk/Run & Kids Fun Run.”
Held Feb. 19 on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College, the superhero-themed fundraising event featured a traditional 5K race timed by Lin-Mark Sports and a children’s fun run along with a community fair featuring local nonprofits and businesses. Those unable to join the race in person could participate in a virtual run.
“We chose a superhero theme for our first race because children in our community who have been abused, neglected or abandoned need heroes to step up on their behalf,” said Jessica Stanfield, executive director of the Guardian ad Litem Foundation. “You don’t need superpowers or a cape to be a hero, though, just compassion and a willingness to help a vulnerable child.”
The Guardian ad Litem Foundation recruits, trains and supports court-approved volunteer child advocates who represent youth as they navigate the judicial, education and child welfare systems. The foundation also provides financial assistance to help meet a child’s basic and developmental needs, including the Children’s Needs Program that provides “extras” like birthday parties, tutoring, summer camp programs, movie tickets and registration fees for clubs and sports. The foundation represents children in Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties.
Sponsors for the Superpower 5K include Daniels Parkway Animal Hospital, Fleet Feet, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Lin-Mark Sports, Orthopedic Specialists of SW Florida, Peak Fitness Southwest Florida and Vein Specialists – Dr. Joseph Magnant. Additionally, Vibe Yoga offered a pre-race warmup and stretching session, and a dozen nonprofit and business partners had informational tables at the event.
First-, second- and third-place finishers in each adult age division, male and female, received a medal, while all youth participants earned a trophy after crossing the finish line. Overall winners included:
Top Overall Female
- Katie Fuentes (24:56)
- Devin Archibald (25:43)
- Anne Burik (25:54)
Top Overall Male
- Jeffrey Engorn (23:34)
- Wyatt De Leon (24:12)
- Bryson Whittamore (24:52)
About the Guardian ad Litem Foundation
The Guardian ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit, was established in 1984 and is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports Guardian ad Litem programs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Foundation, a United Way Partner Agency, has a mission of ensuring that every abused, neglected or abandoned youth in Southwest Florida has a voice as they navigate the judicial, education and child welfare system. The Foundation raises funds that help meet a child’s health, educational and social needs, as well as provides support for highly trained volunteer advocates who represent the best interests of a child until a safe, permanent placement is established. For additional information, visit VoicesForKids.org or call 239-533-1435.