The first-ever Waupaca Walks for Children will be held on Saturday, June 15, during the 25th annual Strawberry Fest.
“It’s a walk, not a run. Parents can bring wagons, strollers and then come back and enjoy Strawberry Fest,” said Kasey Kaepernick.
Kaepernick is a Waupaca County Healthy Beginnings case manager and is the chairman of Waupaca Child Abuse Prevention.
Proceeds from the walk will benefit Waupaca Child Abuse Prevention.
Waupaca Child Abuse Prevention provides funding for the Waupaca Family Resource Center and the programs it offers, as well as funding for the Waupaca Area Toddler Group and any child abuse prevention programs throughout the county.
“The walk will help support these types of programs,” Kaepernick said.
Waupaca Walks for Children (WW4C) will begin in the Waupaca Child Abuse Prevention tent in Kids Alley, located in Rotary Riverview Park.
Registration will start at 9 a.m., with the 1.5-mile walk beginning at 10 a.m. and ending back at the tent.
The entry fee is $15 for adults. Children age 18 and under will walk for free.
Those who pre-register and pay by May 24 are guaranteed a T-shirt and a grab bag.
People may go to http://waupacafrc.com to register online. The resource center is on Facebook @ Waupaca Family Resource Center.
The entry fee is also $15 on the day of the event. However, those who register that day will not be guaranteed to receive a T-shirt and grab bag.
Those items will be handed out until they are gone, on a first-come, first-served basis.
All walkers will have a chance to win a door prize, with the winners being announced after the walk. One does not need to be present to win.
WW4C is being sponsored by The Anthony Family Foundation, Brooks Dairy Farm, Modern Dairy Systems, Farmer’s State Bank, Brooks Family Chiropractic, BABES of New London, Best Western Grand Seasons Hotel, First State Bank and Maroney & Perry Law Office.
Planning began several months ago for the walk.
Kaepernick approached the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce and asked if it was interested in allowing the walk to be part of this year’s Strawberry Fest.
“It’s another way families come together,” he said. “I just think it’s a great relationship we’ve started this year.”
Close to 20 classes are offered at the Waupaca Family Resource Center and this year, they expanded into New London with classes there.
“We offer all the classes for free. We have people who donate. We have supporters in the community,” Kaepernick said.
However, Waupaca Child Abuse Prevention does have costs, such as rent, materials for programs, Internet access and a salary for its coordinator.
Waupaca Child Abuse Prevention seeks to support families.
“It’s a family event. We’re all about family. We’re all about support,” Kaepernick said of the upcoming walk.
Plans calls for WW4C to be an annual event, becoming bigger every year, he said.
“The mission of the walk is to be a family event, to support the resource center, support families,” Kaepernick said. “We’re trying to be the support for families, someone for them to call, a tool. It’s an opportunity for families to get out, get an understanding of what we’re about and have fun together and to support the family resource center. It would make me so happy to see a bunch of people walking with their kids.”