CEDAR CITY – Despite the threat of rain and the chilly May air, spirits were high Saturday morning among the nearly 100 participants who showed up to support the Iron County Children’s Justice Center by running in the 13th annual Fun Run 5K and quarter marathon.
The fundraiser is one of the largest sources of funding for the Children’s Justice Center each year, Director Stephanie Furnival said. This year, there were only about half as many participants as last year.
“Luckily, I have been fortunate enough this last year to be able to write a lot of grants,” she said, “and I’ve gotten every one of them – yay – and so that helps out a lot for our facility and our team.”
While some of the runners who showed up to support the justice center work with the center in some capacity, Furnival said, about 80 percent were community members who believed in the cause and wanted to donate.
There were families and participants ranging in age from babies in strollers all the way up to people in their 60s.
The Little family has been participating in the Fun Run every year since it began, Troy Little said. His wife acted primarily as a cheerleader this year, but three of their four children ran with their father. Their oldest daughter was away at college and was unable to be there for the first time.
“(The justice center) is a good cause,” Little said. “They do great things for the children of Iron County, and we just want to support those kids.”
This was the first year the Harrises participated as a family, Chavonne Harris said, but they definitely plan to continue the tradition.
Harris, her husband and their daughter managed to cross the finish line within only a few minutes of each other. They said they were proud of their daughter, who ran a good race.
“It’s her first 5K,” Harris said. “She only came in three minutes behind me and only four behind him (her dad). She did pretty good.”
As each runner came in, the crowd awaiting their arrival screamed and yelled, jumping up and down and encouraging them across the finish line. There were oranges, bananas and water for the tired and thirsty runners who completed the early morning Fun Run, not to mention open drawing prize giveaways, trophies and medals.
The first place winner in the 5K portion of the race was 32-year-old Enoch resident Andrew Losee in men’s and 32-year-old Cedar City resident Sandy Hulet in women’s.
The men’s first-place winner for the quarter marathon portion of the race was Eric Lewis, 43, of Cedar City, and Cindy Bulloch, 41, of Parowan, took first place in women’s.
New developments at the Children’s Justice Center
The Children’s Justice Center opened 13 years ago and serves Iron, Beaver, Garfield and Kane Counties. The center’s goal is providing a safe and comfortable environment where children 18 and under who are exposed to any kind of abuse or endangerment can be interviewed by law enforcement.
This year has brought with it some new and amazing changes for the Children’s Justice Center, Furnival said. For the first time, both Beaver and Kane Counties will have satellite offices to interview children in, helping alleviate the stress of travel on top of an already stressful situation for those involved in child abuse cases.
The Children’s Justice Center is also home to a new exam room that will help victims and families of victims avoid going to multiple places in order to be examined by medical professionals.
“We actually have a medical exam room onsite,” Furnival said, “and our physician is actually a Primary Children’s Medical Center physician; and, so, they’re able to have their interview (and) they’re able to get their exams all done in one place where they feel comfortable.”
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