Delaware children who have been shifted from foster home to foster home, on top of suffering from medical problems, often meet the staff at the Pressley Ridge agency. Pressley Ridge is a non-profit, private organization that takes in foster children with medical problems and places them with families that the agency has recruited and trained.
“These are children who have been in at least 10 placement homes before they get to us,” said Marcie Byus, a recruiting and licensing specialist with Pressley Ridge. “We deal with the toughest kids. For the most part we take in kids who have really gone through a lot of trauma.”
This Saturday, Pressley Ridge will host a 5K run/walk in downtown Dover to raise awareness about the organization’s purpose and to provide those interested with information about how to become a foster parent.
The organization has three offices in Delaware, which are located in Dover, Newark and Georgetown. As a whole the organization has offices in six states, as well as Portugal and Hungary. The agency has been operating in Delaware for the past 10 years. It typically serves around 70 children at any given time, Byus said.
Registration for the Saturday race begins at 8 a.m. Parking is available in city parking lots on Governors Avenue, Bradford Street and North Street.
Prior to the start of the race there will be health and info booths, an opening ceremony and warm-up exercises. Every runner and walker will receive a T-shirt for the event.
The race will begin at 9 a.m. at Loockerman Way Plaza; walkers and runners will make their way down Loockerman, over to Silver Lake Park, loop through the park and then come back down Loockerman. There will be cool-down and stretching exercises following the race.
Downtown Dover Partnership has been working with Pressley Ridge to ensure the agency has all of its paperwork in order to put the 5K on and to help Pressley Ridge spread the word, said Ed Perez, downtown coordinator for the Downtown Dover Partnership.
“Our thing is community development and from that standpoint we want to work with the community as a whole,” Perez said. “This is a worthy cause because supporting children and families is a very serious [matter]. Supporting family structure is very important for the community as a whole.”
Pressley Ridge will be accepting donations the day of the race. The proceeds will go to providing the agency’s foster children who are about to age out of the system with financial support.
“All of the proceeds go to helping our kids,” Byus said. “For the kids aging out we want to provide them with a good start and maybe help them with their first apartment.”
Page 2 of 2 - Donations will also be used to provide a Christmas party for Pressley Ridge children currently in the foster care system and to help fund the resources that the agency uses to connect foster children to their biological family members.
“We do have a case aid,” Byus said. “She works directly with bio families, helping them connect to relatives they may have in our system. We help them arrange visits with the kids so they can get to know them, so once the kids are out they will have someone to rely on.”
Pressley Ridge’s main goal for Saturday is to spread awareness about the agency.
“We just want to get Pressley Ridge out there, to let the public know who we are and what we’re doing of children and families,” she said.