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Celebrate the holiday season by participating in the second annual Santa Cause 5K and Fun Run in Dewey Beach on Sunday, Dec. 3 when The Starboard transforms into the North Pole Headquarters with over a dozen of activities for all ages at the after-party. 

Runners and walkers of all ages are encouraged to dress in costume and take a lot of selfies for a chance to win a special prize.

The festivities will benefit Children & Families First — a nonprofit organization serving more than 40,000 individuals throughout Delaware to prevent child abuse and neglect. 

Development Officer Laura Rimmer, of Children & Families First, discusses how this family-friendly event is essential to the success of the needs of the community they serve. 

The fun run is a 1-mile, untimed, non-competitive course offered in two categories – 12 and older and under 12. Explain what each group will receive for being participants. 

Because it is important to us to continue the tradition we built this event upon last year, we want to encourage children to participate but not price the fees in a way that would be burdensome on any family during the holiday time.

Along the course, all participants have the opportunity to collect a variety of goodies from our Holiday Course Stations too. Returning favorites from last year will be our Mistletoe & Kisses: where we pass out candy kisses; Lovin’ from the Oven: where we pass out cookies and Candy Cane Lane: where we pass out peppermint treats; with an additional three new surprise stations for this year.

Then post run/walk, everyone gets access to our North Pole Headquarters after party in the Starboard

Can you elaborate on some of the 15+ games that will be available?

The after party is open to everyone who has either registered for the 5K, the 1-mile walk or purchased a separate “party-only” ticket online at www.cffde.org. Those 21 and older will receive a complimentary SeaQuench Ale from our sponsor, Dogfish Head. There will be a light buffet of finger foods and water with the Starboard’s kitchen and bar open for those who wish to purchase a full meal or additional beverages.  

Featured in the after party will be various carnival-style games like pin the nose on the snowman, snowball toss, and marshmallow races. We will offer make-your-own wreath and ornament crafts, special photo areas, face painting and, of course, pictures with Santa Claus.

To be in the festive spirit, costumes are highly encouraged for this event. What were some of last year’s most creative costumes that you saw?

This is an awesome opportunity for everyone to get festively creative. Last year we saw everything from ugly holiday sweaters to elves. My personal favorite was two running lamps from the Christmas Story movie.

New this year, participants are encouraged to take lots of #CFFelfies with a chance to win a special prize for the best one. What is the criteria the photos will be judged on?

While raising funds to support Children & Families First is the primary reason for this event, the secondary reason is raising awareness of our agency and mission, and what better way is there to draw attention to something than by having hundreds of people dressed in their most festive holiday flair overtake the roads in Dewey Beach?  It is a truly remarkable sight to behold.

We plan to award prizes to the best adult costume, best child costume, and depending on what our participants come up with this year, possibly even to the best-decorated stroller. The winners will be chosen by our planning committee as the obvious stand-outs who you just cannot miss even with everyone dressed to impress.

All of the proceeds from this event benefit Children & Families First. How will the funds be used? 

Children & Families First is a Delaware based nonprofit organization that serves over 40,000 individuals statewide each year with the goal of preventing child abuse and neglect by offering immediate access to resources and supports for those overcoming tremendous challenges.

Our continuum of services address all phases of family life, beginning with early intervention for high-risk pregnant mothers to support a healthy pregnancy and life start for the child; parenting skill classes to break generational cycles of dysfunction and strengthen families; foster care for vulnerable children connecting them with caring  adults; counseling services, intervention and community connections to improve relationships in families with teens; and a therapeutic residence for foster youth ages 12 to 17 healing from histories of significant trauma.   

One of the causes Children & Families First strives for is to empower teens towards self-sufficient futures. Can you share what methods the organization uses to meet this important goal? And can you provide to date since the organization’s inception approximately what percentage of teens you have helped?

The youth in our Seaford House program are struggling to overcome histories of significant trauma and abuse. These are 12- to 17-year-old foster youth who live full time in our therapeutic residence.

Our home supports them in their healing process by connecting them with medical, mental health and educational resources while providing them with a safe place to live, to call home. We encourage our youth focusing on their strengths, to help them understand and embrace they are so much more than what happened to them.

We also connect our youth with supportive mentors, community engagement programs, volunteer opportunities and recreation programs to help rebuild their sense of self as a person of value within and to the community around them.

This Q&A was edited for clarity and length.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Second annual Santa Cause 5K and Fun Run

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 3 at 11 a.m. for check-in, noon for 5K and for mile run

WHERE: The Starboard, Dewey Beach

CONTACT: http://www.cffde.org/santa-fun-run

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