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Children’s Home And Aid To Hold 9th Annual Child Abuse 5K

Children's Home and Aid will host their 9th annual "Taking Steps To End Child Abuse 5K Color Run" on Saturday.

Children’s Home & Aid will host the 9th Annual “Taking Steps To End Child Abuse 5K Color Run”in memory of Duncan and Jack Leichtenberg of LeRoy, victims of the 2009 murder-suicide by their father after he failed to return them to their mother from a visit.

The proceeds from the race will fund the Family Visitation Center, which provides a safe, neutral, child-friendly environment for supervised visitation and exchanges for families experiencing domestic violence or a high-conflict divorce.

“Our community has really embraced us, and every year the event is highly successful,” said Jeannie Higdon, licensed clinical social worker and family support supervisor at Children’s Home and Aid. “We have families and friends coming out who bring their family, friends, and even their kids out. It’s just been really wonderful to see the community embrace this event and show support for the program in efforts to keep all children safe.”

This year marks 10 years since the death of the Leichtenberg brothers. The facility provided services for the family prior to Duncan and Jack’s death. Their mother, Amy Leichtenberg, partnered with Children’s Home and Aid nine years ago and began the race to celebrate the boys’ lives with others each year.

“Children’s Home and Aid has helped keep Duncan and Jack’s memory alive and bring awareness to these situations that can happen,” Leichtenberg said. “It gives me comfort knowing that families are protected with the help of bringing awareness to these issues.”

Laura Cordero, a development associate at Children’s Home and Aid, thinks the race is a great way to help people become more aware of child abuse and domestic violence.

“People are becoming more aware and educated,” Cordero said. “The more educated we become and bring attention to this cause, the more likely we are to have the support to help these families.”

The race will take place Saturday, April 27, at 9:30 a.m. in Fairview Park. Online registration is closed while registration will be available on race day.

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Darnysha Mitchell is an Illinois State University student and reporting and social media intern at WGLT.
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