Child Advocates of Silicon Valley

Child Advocates' Board Member Hosts Los Altos Flower Run to Benefit Foster Youth During National Foster Care Month

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Los Altos resident and Child Advocates of Silicon Valley Board Member Debbie Crouse is passionate about finding ways to help the 1600 foster youth in Santa Clara County. But she wanted to do more than fundraise, she wanted to make it fun for the community while building awareness for her cause. She recruited her friend, Joy Erf, an experienced distance runner and six other philanthropically minded Los Altos residents to organize a 5k fun run/walk to raise money for Child Advocates of Silicon Valley and the foster kids we serve.

The 5k Inaugural Flower Run/Walk starts at 9am on Sunday, May 21 in front of On Your Mark in downtown Los Altos, 378 Main Street and loops through the lovely Los Altos Hills and back.

Runners and walkers can sign up online. All proceeds from the event benefit foster children in Santa Clara County. Participants are encouraged to add a flower flourish to their running/walking gear and will receive a commemorative bracelet for participating in the event.

“The Flower Run/Walk is a healthy, fun activity for friends and families to do together while supporting foster youth,” says Debbie Crouse. “We hope this event is the first of many runs to benefit foster children in our community.” Joy Erf is excited to be pairing her passion for running and skills in fundraising to help foster children in Silicon Valley.

“Running is a passion for me,” explains Joy Erf. “Giving back to the community while doing something I love brings that much more meaning to the sport.”

“We’re thrilled to see our community of supporters kicking-off the inaugural Flower Run/Walk during Foster Care Awareness Month in Los Altos,” says Karen Scussel, executive director of Child Advocates of Silicon Valley.

“With the climate of uncertainty surrounding programs that help underserved children, it is vitally important that foster children – our community’s most vulnerable population – have a caring, stable adult in their lives in the form of a Child Advocate.”

Scussel, a Los Altos resident, is also running enthusiast. According to the American Medical Association, a more vulnerable group does not exist than children removed from the custody of their parents and placed in foster care. Child Advocates provides that one person, that caring adult who will remain their friend, advocate and mentor throughout their time in the dependency system: a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). CASAs are a powerful voice for children in foster care, ensuring that a child’s emotional and educational needs are met. In fiscal year 2016, Child Advocates supported approximately 600 CASA volunteers who donated 64,800 hours of time to serve 783 foster children.

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