A splash of color raises awareness of child abuse 

Dozens of people were doused in blue powder on Saturday to raise awareness of strong, nurturing communities that support families play a role in preventing child abuse and neglect. 

Men, women, and children of all ages participated in the third annual Colusa Color Run, hosted by Colusa County Community Advocates for Parents and Children, which is held every April in connection with Child Abuse Prevention Month and the annual Colusa County Office of Education’s Family Fair, which recognizes April as the Month of the Young Child. 

The color run has become so successful in such a short period of time, CAPC hosted two start times this year. 

About 70 people pre-registered prior to the event, with dozens more showing up for the morning run, and later again in the afternoon. Lunch, which was included in the registration fee, was served between the two runs. 

“This is our third year, and every year more and more (people) participate,” said Carissa Bowers, CAPC coordinator. “It raises money for us to put out prevention efforts in the community,” 

Cousins Cesar and Karim Cruz, both 11, said the event was a lot of fun. Itzen Cruz, 9, who ran the course from Will S. Green Park to the Sacramento River levee with her cousin Ikar Cruz, 7, understood the event to be about strengthening relationships within families.  

“It’s about loving your kids and life,” Itzel said. 

Bowers said this year’s Color Run was a particularly good year for the organization to have such a successful fundraiser. Last year, CAPC worked with Safe and Sound, an organization that compiled the data that shows millions of dollars are being spent locally in connection with child abuse, including long-term physical and mental health care for victims, child welfare, the criminal justice system, special education, unemployment and public assistance. 

“It’s huge,” Bowers said. “We are tying to use that (information) in our awareness campaign this year to show what the cost is and how we can save money by going from a reactive approach to a proactive approach to prevent child abuse. This is the only fundraiser that we do, and we use it to put out materials in the community during April. Because April is Children Abuse Prevention Month, we use that as our platform to raise awareness.” 

CAPC also hosts other programs during the year that focus on strengthening families. 

“We really try to work with families where they are,” she said. “We focus on their strengths to promote protective factors in those families and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect.” ■