Creative Alternatives will host the 7th Annual Grace Bishop Memorial Run on June 4, raising funds for foster youth.
The organization is a nonprofit human services agency that has worked with the city’s foster youth for 40 years. Creative Alternatives currently operates 14 residential care facilities, a foster family agency and three nonpublic schools within Stanislaus, Merced and Fresno counties serving youth who have emotional problems.
The memorial fund was established in 1998 in memory of Grace Bishop, a founding member of Creative Alternatives’ Board of Directors. Each year, eligible foster youth who emancipate from the Creative Alternatives program are awarded scholarships from the fund. The term emancipate, or “age out,” describes foster youth who are discharged from the foster care system when they turn a certain age. According to Supervising Social Worker Angie Potts, Creative Alternatives expects to see 12 youth “age out” of the program this year.
“The fund provides them with the financial support they need once they leave our program,” said Potts. “They don’t have a savings account like most children who grow up in their biological families, so this is like their savings reserve.”
The fund typically provides emancipating foster youth with scholarships ranging from $1,000 up to $3,000. The youth are allowed to spend their scholarships on anything they may need.
“The more money we raise, the more we can give out,” said Potts. “Our desire is to give as much as we can because their need is great.”
Creative Alternatives has partnered with the Stanislaus State Track and Field team to put on the fundraising run, with all proceeds going toward the Grace Bishop Memorial Fund. The event is being held at Stanislaus State, and the course will take runners on a beautiful route through campus. The run offers 1 mile, 5K and 10K options, with the 1 mile race beginning at 8 a.m. The 5K and 10K races begin at 8:30 a.m.
To pre-register, visit www.creative-alternatives.org and follow the tab labeled Grace Bishop Memorial Fund. Pre-registration costs $25 for the 1 mile race and $35 for the 5K or 10K. Free t-shirts are available to those who pre-register by May 20. Race day registration begins at 6:30 a.m. at Stanislaus State’s Fitzpatrick Arena and is $30 for the 1 mile run and $40 for the 5K or 10K.