Two Columbia Families To Participate in Baltimore Running Festival on Behalf of Maryland’s Foster Children
The Boateng and Burger families of Columbia will support Maryland victims of child abuse and neglect by participating in the Under Armour® Baltimore Running Festival.
They will compete on the Maryland CASA Association’s “Team CASA” in the city-wide event occurring Saturday, Oct. 13, at M&T Bank Stadium.
Liz Boateng, her 13-year-old daughter, Olivia, and 10-year-old son, Quincy, will run in the 5K. Her husband, Kofi, will participate in the half-marathon.
“It’s a great opportunity for my family to be active together and, at the same time, raise money for a great cause,” said Liz Boateng, the operational risk consultant at Wells Fargo Bank in Columbia and an active volunteer with Voices for Children – CASA’s Howard County program.
She discovered CASA when Voices for Children held an open house at the Bank and thought “the program sounded like a great opportunity for her to give back to a child in need in her community.”
In her four years as a CASA volunteer, Liz has advocated for three children. For the past two years, she has assisted “an amazing girl, who has been in and out of foster care since the age of nine.”
“Now age 17, the girl recently returned from an eight-week foreign exchange program in China that I’m not sure would have happened if I hadn’t been advocating for her the entire time,” Liz said. “Despite her life circumstances, she somehow manages to stay positive and focused on her future. I’m constantly inspired by her.”
Liz will attempt to focus her passion for helping vulnerable children into energy when the race begins. She previously participated in the Richmond Half-Marathon, Cherry Blossom 10-Miler, Baltimore 10-Miler, Hot Chocolate 5K and Baltimore Running Festival 5K.
Quincy plans to sprint the entire race, while Liz and Olivia will run together. Collectively, the Boateng family aims to raise $1,000 for Team CASA.
Susan and Richard Burger, who have participated on Team CASA for three years, will walk in the 5K
A licensed social worker, Susan has served as executive director of CASA of Baltimore for the past 13 years. She began her CASA career as volunteer supervisor for Voices for Children.
Previously, she assisted pregnant and parenting teens in foster care at Baltimore County DSS and served as the Child Protection Team coordinator at the University Hospital Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine.
To fundraise for Team CASA, the Burgers are emailing friends and family members. They also are aiming to recruit others to join the team.
This will mark the fourth year Maryland CASA Association has fielded a team in the Baltimore Running Festival. In addition to walkers and runners, Team CASA needs volunteers to help plan the event, secure sponsors and help out at the race.
Top fundraisers on Team CASA, as well as those who reach designated fundraising levels will receive prizes. All funds raised by Team CASA will support efforts to recruit more volunteers to advocate for Maryland’s foster children.
Approximately 10,000 children are under court protection in Maryland today as a result of abuse and neglect. About 7,400 of these children are living in foster care where they remain an average of three years before being placed in permanent homes.
For more information, to register for Team CASA or support a team member, visit www.goteamcasa.org or call 410.828.6761.
About Maryland CASA
Maryland CASA Association is a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to ensuring the rights of all victims of child abuse and neglect to grow up in safe, permanent homes. This mission is carried out in partnership with the state’s15 Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) programs, which provide trained volunteer advocates to speak up for the best interests of children. For more information, visit www.marylandcasa.org.