Participants warm up before the annual Children’s Advocacy Services Keep Kids Safe Walk/5K Run.

Nearly 350 participants hit the path Saturday to support the fourth annual Keep Kids Safe Walk/5K Run and Silent Auction benefiting Children’s Advocacy Services of Greater St. Louis at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. The event took place at Creve Coeur Park in Maryland Heights, Mo., and raised $28,000 – almost 20 percent more than last year’s walk.

The annual walk and silent auction closed out April’s Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month, also known as Blue Ribbon Month.

“I’m really pleased with the support the university and the community have shown us, and continue to show us each year,” said Jerry Dunn, executive director of CASGSL. “We are thankful, and the families and children we serve out thankful and will benefit from this generosity.”

CASGSL provides forensic interviews and ongoing treatment for children ages three through 17 who have been the victims of child abuse and neglect.

In 2009, CASGSL helped 815 victims from the St. Louis area. Without the help of Children’s Advocacy Services, many of these children would have undergone further trauma through multiple interviews and a complicated legal system. According to Dunn, services provided by CASGL helped reduce the effects of trauma on these children and adolescents.

“When a child is victimized, they need a safe haven to tell their story and receive counseling, and that’s why we are here,” Dunn said.

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Jen Hatton

Jen Hatton