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CASA holding 1-mile run during Festival Days


September 3, 2019

Editor’s note: This version corrects the spelling of the acronym for the race held in the 1980s, and that people who register after Sept. 10 will receive a T-shirt but will not have it for the run.

This year during Festival Days, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Hill County — CASA — is hosting for the first time the Fifth Avenue Mile Saturday, Sept. 21, to bring awareness for the non-profit group and encourage people to get involved.

“Please run, please register, come one, come all,” CASA Executive Director Chamene Plum said.

CASA volunteer Alan Sorensen, who spearheaded starting the race, said T-shirts will be available during the run for people who register by Sept. 10. 

People who register after Sept. 10 will receive a T-shirt but it will not be available at the run.

CASA is a non-profit group which works within the court system advocating for the needs of children who have been removed from their parents, either because of abuse or neglect, and put into the court system through no fault of their own. CASA volunteers are tasked with reviewing the child’s case, investigating the case and meeting with the child to determine what would be in their best interest.

Sorensen said that he came up with the idea for the run from a previous event in Havre called the MADD — Mothers Against Drunk Driving — Mile Dash, which was a similar run Havre used to have during Festival Days in the 1980s. The Mad Mile was a fundraiser and a way to bring awareness against drunk driving. He added that after hearing Havre resident Rachel Dean proposed hosting a full marathon in 2020 to the Havre Chamber of Commerce, he thought it would be a great event to help get people ready for the marathon.

He said the Fifth Avenue Mile originated in New York City in the ’80s, in which the city gathered a number of world-famous runners to attempt to break the world record for a mile, which they did not.

Sorensen said he thought Havre could have something similar. Montana has its own record to break, running a mile in less than 4 minutes for men and 4 minutes 50 seconds for women. In all of Montana history, no runner in the state has been able to run at that time. He added that a few Montanans have made a mile in less than four minutes, but they were outside the state when they ran.

He said he encourages people to try, adding that he hopes some of the high school and college runners in the area will join in the festivities.

Plum said not everyone has to compete, they can also walk to bring awareness for CASA. The race will begin at Spud’s Grub Hut at 9:50 a.m., 10 minutes before the parade. She added that it is to allow people to be able to run or walk ahead of the parade safely while allowing people to watch the run and the parade back-to-back. The mile will end in front of the Havre Fire Department.

Registration will start at 9 and close at 9:40 a.m. and will be $15 for adults and $10 for youths — 17 years old and younger, she said.

To preregister, forms can be found at the CASA office in the District 4 Human Resources and Development Council Building at 2229 Fifth Ave. or at Spud’s at 1903 Fifth Ave., she said. Posters and registration forms can also be found on the CASA Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CASAofHillCounty .

Forms and registration fees have to either be dropped off or mailed to the HRDC building at 2229 Fifth Ave., she added. If people are mailing in their registration the envelope has to be addressed to CASA or Suite 135, HRDC, 2229 Fifth Ave., Havre MT 59501.

Plum said the number of shirts, made by Master Sports, are limited and they may have some extras available the day of the run, but they are not guaranteed for the run if people don’t register by Sept. 10.

“I’m excited to find out what participation will look like,” she said.

She said she wanted to thank the sponsors of the event, Havre Tourism Business Improvement District, Crook and Marker, Stockman Bank, Duchscher-Kapperud Insurance and Tilleman Motor Company, she said. She added that Havre Ford also has donated the use of a truck to be used as a pilot vehicle for the race.

The event will also have a number of prizes for participants, including hooded sweatshirts and baseball caps donated by Havre Ford and a small model of a Versatile tractor donated by Big Equipment, she said. Food and water will also be available for people. She added that prizes will also be available for first-place men, first-place women and medals for for different age groups of youths participating. 

Everyone who participates in the run will get a CASA lip balm and water bottle, she said.

Sorensen said a number of people know and support CASA and he is excited to see how many people will participate. He added that the event will also promote the marathon next year and they will have maps of the marathon and half-marathon available.

Plum said that the event will also have information and application for people to get involved with CASA. She added that CASA volunteers will also be at the event volunteering and participating in the mile. She also wanted to remind people that application for becoming a CASA volunteer end today and classes for CASA start Sept. 17.

She said they are still looking for volunteers for the run and if anyone is interested in volunteering for the run or CASA they can contact her at 262-4099.

“If it goes well, I think it would be a great annual event,” Plum said.


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