WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — You don’t have to have superpowers to be a superhero.
Children put on their capes and masks Saturday morning to help make a difference in the lives of their peers. All superheroes were called to Public Square in Wilkes-Barre for an important mission.
“I was running in the race,” Joseph Matthews of Wilkes-Barre said.
A race that, according to Kaydence Lopez of Wilkes-Barre, was a little bit “tiring” but all for good reason. The second annual Superhero 5K Run and Walk was put on Saturday morning by the Luzerne County Child Advocacy Center. The goal? Raise awareness and honor those in Luzerne County who have faced child abuse.
“We’re here basically to honor the children who are the superheroes who come out and report and disclose child abuse,” Shannon Peduto, executive director for Luzerne County Child Advocacy Center, said.
“I’m out here to help kids who are abused and need help,” Lopez said.
Lopez put on her best superhero costume Saturday because she knew she would be helping to make a difference.
“I have a friend and she’s abused and I wanted to come here to help other people just like her,” Lopez said.
In 2018, the LCAC assisted nearly 600 children. Since its inception in 2010, the center has assisted 3,000 children and their families across Luzerne County.
“We oftentimes are the people who are first on scene in reports like this and then we coordinate with the CAC,” Daniel Duffy of the Wilkes-Barre Police Benevolent Association Board member said.
Duffy says he wouldn’t miss a chance to support the Children Advocacy Center for all they do in the community.
“I know it’s titled The Superhero Run, but the true superheroes in this case are the men and women that work for the CAC, the doctors, the forensic interviewers, all those people,” Duffy said.
Between volunteers and runners, nearly 100 people came out to support the race as a way to stand together in the fight against child abuse.
“Our children are our most valuable resource. They’re the next generation and they will be the ones continuing on in this county and in this country so we want to make sure they’re well taken care of and that when they go through trauma, we can turn trauma into triumph,” Peduto said.
This year’s race was in honor of Nanticoke Police Chief William Schultz. Schultz died in 2016 at the age of 61.