The name is new but the cause remains the same.
The Crime Survivors Annual Survive & Thrive 5K Run/Walk is now called the Superhero 5K Run/Walk and Health & Safety Expo.
The 15th annual event, which takes place April 13 at Mason Park in Irvine, serves as a fundraiser and awareness campaign for Crime Survivors, a Santa Ana nonprofit that provides an array of services to victims of violent crimes and their loved ones.
A second Superhero 5K Run/Walk takes place April 27 at Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas.
With the new name comes a new theme, said victims’ advocate and Crime Survivors founder Patricia Wenskunas.
Wenskunas herself survived a brutal attack in her home 17 years ago.
“This is the first year we are doing a theme to try and bring in more families and the community,” Wenskunas said. “Also, to share and showcase our partnerships with law enforcement, first responders and service providers on a wider lens and embrace that we are all superheroes.”
The Health & Safety Expo portion of the event features vendors offering victims’ resources, along with family friendly festivities such as a free pancake breakfast, face painting, crafts, entertainment, jump houses, and balloon art.
Wearing costumes is optional, Wenskunas said, and the public is welcome to attend without participating in the run/walk. Nonprofits can also put together a team, with half their registration fee given back to them and their charity of choice, she said.
The cause is personal for Wenskunas. On April 4, 2002, Wenskunas was bound and beaten in her home by a personal trainer. She jumped from a 12-foot-high balcony to the kitchen floor below to escape and get help.
Frustrated with a criminal justice system that seemed to offer little support for the crime victims, Wenskunas started Crime Survivors.
Wenskunas’ vision to have a brick-and-mortar facility to assist crime victims and their families became a reality in April 2018 with the opening of the Crime Survivors Resource Center in Santa Ana.
Sponsorship opportunities and vendor booths are available for the run/walk and health and safety expo.