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Super Effort! Costumed Superhero Run Raises Awareness for Abused Children

Proceeds from Saturday's event benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates of Allegheny County.

It has to take really something special to get all these comic book luminaries in one spot.

Superman, Flash Gordon, the Incredible Hulk—and even Darth Vader—were among the crowd gathered Saturday for the annual

Now in its fourth year, the event invites participants, including the family dog, to wear their favorite superhero costumes to the race.

Dedicated to raising awareness about child abuse and providing help for abused children, members of the nonprofit believe the young victims need a superhero, which is why participants dress as Batman, Spiderman and other good guys at events.

Garbed as Superwoman, Erica Burg, who founded the Pittsburgh chapter of Texas-based foundation, said 600 people registered for this year’s run.

“Each year, it gets bigger and bigger,” said.

The Cranberry resident said the event raised $35,000 for Court Appointed Special Advocates of Allegheny County. CASA volunteers help abused children through the court system, being their eyes and ears as well as a friend, Burg said.

Children who participated in the run each received a blue cape with the Superhero Foundation logo on the back. There also were games, giveaways, activities and prizes at the event.

Sarah Ditmore, a sixth-grade student at designed the T-shirts for this year’s run.

After submitting her logo through the school’s art club, Sarah said she was pleased her design, which featured superhero gloves holding a child’s hand, was chosen for this year’s event.

“I was really happy it was picked,” she said.

The financial manager for CASA, as well as a volunteer, Susan Allardice, of Bradford Woods, walked—she laughed when asked if she ran—the race with Betsy Baun. Sporting tiaras and capes, the friends dubbed themselves, “The Old Wonder Women.”

“It is so fantastic,” Allardice said of the event. “We are so grateful to Erica and the Superhero Foundation.”

Burg had hoped to break a Guinness Book of World Record Saturday for most people dressed as superheroes in one place. Although about 100 more people attended this year’s event than last year, Burg said they did not break the record, which is held by DreamWorks Animation.

The studio in 2010 gathered about 1,600 costumed people at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in a promotion for the megahit movie Megamind. While it didn't happen Saturday, Burg was confident the foundation would take the title sooner rather than later.

“Superheroes don’t give up,” she said.

 

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