(April 16, 2021) The Children’s Resource Intervention Center, Kids Empowerment Team (CRICKET) will hold its eighth annual Walk for Kids this Saturday.
The community walk, which raises awareness for child abuse, will kick off at noon on the Boardwalk in front of Hooters on Fifth Street. It concludes at 3 p.m.
“Walk for Kids is primarily a prevention event, as April is Child Abuse Prevention Month,” said CRICKET Center Executive Director Wendy Myers. “Of course it’s a fundraiser, too, but the primary goal is to raise awareness about child abuse prevention and how people can report, what that looks like in Worcester County.”
Registration is $20 for adults and $5 for children and the proceeds go to an array of CRICKET services, everything from intake and the family advocacy program to therapeutic services and legal depositions.
“(The funds) go right into the budget that takes care of anything that a child or family might need,” Myers said.
Participants can choose to walk whenever and for however long they please during the three-hour window.
Myers said that some people simply walk from Hooters to the inlet and back. Others walk from Hooters, up to 17th street, down to the inlet and back to Hooters, which is roughly a traditional 5K trek.
“Some people just walk to Shenanigan’s [Irish Pub on Fourth Street],” Myers said with a laugh.
Swag bags, which include coupons and literature about child abuse prevention and internet safety, will be handed out to participants after the walk.
While the covid-19 pandemic shut down the official event last year, Myers said people still donated and even showed up to walk.
“The folks that registered ahead of time, we asked if they wanted us to save their donations as a registration for this year, get a refund or let us keep it, and every single person replied to keep it,” Myers said. “Our community is so supportive of our mission and the work we do. It’s just so humbling to see folks reaching out every time we ask, they’re right there for us. We just really appreciate that.”
There aren’t official shirts or running stickers that participants wear, but Myers said many people wear blue, the color associated with child abuse prevention awareness, or a blue pinwheel, the national symbol for child abuse prevention.
“(The blue pinwheel) represents the happy, carefree, safe childhood that we want for every child, not just in Worcester County, but everywhere,” Myers said.
Participants can register individually or in teams, and as such, some teams coordinate their outfits, walk in someone’s name or honor their own children or grandchildren. Groups of teachers have participated before in honor of their students, Myers said.
“We hope to see everyone there,” Myers said. “Even if you’re not walking, still stop by and say hello. We deeply appreciate the support that Worcester County gives to us.”
Participants can register the day of the event – bring a printout of the form online – or sign up at https://thecricketcenter.com.
For more information on the CRICKET Center and Child Abuse Prevention Month or to speak anonymously, call 410-641-0097.
Additional resources are:
• The Life Crisis Center – 410-749-4357 or visit lifecrisiscenter.org.
• Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence – 1-800-634-3577 or visit mnadv.org.
• Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault – 410-974-4507 or visit mcasa.org.