This spring’s SMART5.29K run, sponsored by the Treasurer’sOffice and Mission West Virginia, netted $15,518 in college savings funds forchildren placed in adoption. The total reflects sponsorships and entry fees.
The May 14 race through Charleston’s warehouse district and to the state Capitol and back attracted 68 registered runners in its second year. A chilly, gray morning did not keep participants from enjoying the fun or raising money for a much-deserved population. Statistics show that only three percent of children raised in foster care go on to college.
“That’s a number we are doing everything in our power to lower,” said State Treasurer John Perdue. “I urge others to do whatever they can to make a brighter future for an overlooked segment of our society.”
The money goes to Mission West Virginia and Frameworks, its adoptive agency arm. Frameworks helps place children raised in foster homes with adoptive families. Through an application process geared to families for which it helped find children, Frameworks will award funds raised from the race.
“I’ve always said nothing opens the doors of opportunity like education and that cannot be truer than in the case of adopted children,” Treasurer Perdue said. “In fact, these kids need the door nudged open for them a bit.”
Joni Adams, 60, ran in the race and says she has an appreciation for the cause.“I’m a retired teacher so I’m absolutely supporting that cause,” Adams said. “It was a great experience and a very nice course.”