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April 25, 2014

Fundraiser fights child abuse

TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City Central High School Student Senate members are making a colorful statement against child abuse.

The student group is hosting its second Spring Splatter 5K color run on Saturday and donating all profits to the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center.

Runners will be given white T-shirts at the beginning of the race, but they won’t stay white for long. Volunteers will be on-hand to splatter the runners with colored powder at each kilometer as they they weave their way through the Central High School and Northwestern Michigan College campuses.

This is the second year in a row the students are putting on the event, and sophomore Emily Decker is hoping for twice as many runners — and twice as much money raised — this time around.

“Last year went really well for us. We had more runners than we expected. We had to turn people away because we weren’t prepared to have so many,” Decker said.

The students had planned for 200 runners at most, she said. They ended up with about 250 runners and raised close to $3,000. This year the students are prepared for more.

“Ideally, we’d like to see about 500 people come out,” Decker said.

Decker and Niki Roxbury, also a sophomore, began the race last year as a way to give back to their community. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the students wanted to do their part.

“It’s truly amazing that the Spring Splatter is student-lead,” CAC family advocate Gwen Taylor said.

She said protecting children and preventing abuse is a shared responsibility, and every penny matters when families are in crisis.

Decker, a Traverse City native, said it’s important to her that the money raised through the run stays local.

“I feel like my community does so much for me,” she said. “I want to keep Traverse City a great place to be.”

Saturday’s race begins at 9 a.m. at Traverse City Central High School. Runners can search “Spring Splatter 2014 Traverse City” at www.active.com to register.

Registration is $15 for students and $20 for adults. Participants can pick up their race packet and course map on April 25 from 4-7:30 p.m. in the Central High School cafeteria.

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