Foster child running for her cause |

Foster child running for her cause

by Maggie O'Neill

Amber Crofoot, 14, a foster child from Dayton, is running in a 5K race in Reno next weekend for a cause close to her heart.

“I’m in foster care myself, and I’m going through adoption,” she said. “I thought maybe I could just raise more money for kids like me.”

The fourth annual Adoption Fair at Hidden Valley Country Club in Reno Nov. 13 will feature booths with information about adoption and foster care.

The 5K/10K run and one-mile walk, which begin at 9 a.m., cost $25.

The fair started four years ago to recognize November as National Adoption Month.

“We’ve always done something in November to recognize adoption,” said George Pelham, program director for Washoe County Department of Social Services.

Of 27 exhibitors at the fair, 10 will have information about adoption or are adoption agencies. And, for the first time this year, an adoption attorney will have a booth.

Booths on foster care will feature the foster care process, an experience that Crofoot described as both positive and negative.

“It’s gotten me to where I am today,” she said. “When I first came into foster care, I had a negative attitude on it, and I didn’t really want to be in it. My foster parents showed me it’s not that bad and it is actually a good thing.”

At the fair, will be information geared specifically toward children, including dental hygiene, yoga, nutrition, mental health, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nevada, the Sky Tavern Junior Sky Program and more. Cuddles the Clown will be there, and piano music will be performed.

“There are other types of things people might be able to get involved in, if they’re not ready for adoption,” Pelham said.

More than 200 people participated in last year’s races. Crofoot finished in second in the 5K 13-19 age group with a time of 23:40.

“It’s actually pretty easy to run a 5K,” she said. “I’m looking forward to it. I hear there’s a lot of people coming out, and I’m excited to compete against them.”

Crofoot, who plans to join the track team at her school soon, wants to take first place in next weekend’s run.

“I’m going to push myself,” she said.

Last year, the first-place winner finished 30 seconds in front of her. After this year’s run, Crofoot will be at the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services booth.

“I think people should get out there to experience it and raise some money,” she said. “It’s just a fun thing to do and a way to meet new people.”

Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at mo’ or 881-1219.

If you go

What: Adoption Fair Run/Walk

Where: Hidden Valley Country Club in Reno

When: The 5K/10K run and one-mile walk begin at 9 a.m. The fair is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost: To run or walk, $25. To attend the fair, free. T-shirts will be given to all run/walk participants

Contact: (775) 337-4503