Annual run to raise funds for crime victims

September 22, 2006|By SUSAN GVOZDAS | SUSAN GVOZDAS,Special to The Sun

Ronald Naditch is still sore from a strenuous calisthenics workout last week, but he says he won't miss the 5K Victims' Fund Run on Sunday.

As a former prosecutor in the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office, he knows how important the fund is for crime victims.

The Victims' Fund was established nine years ago for Anne Arundel County crime victims who can't afford to replace damaged or stolen property. In addition to shoring up the fund, the annual run shows support for the victims' advocates who work in the state's attorney's office.

Victims' advocates help people move through the judicial system while prosecutors prepare the cases, Naditch, a family law attorney, said.

"Frankly a lot of us, we were not very good at it [reaching out], and we were preoccupied," said Naditch, who worked in the state's attorney's office from 1966 to 1993. "They just do a fabulous job."

The race is sponsored by the state's attorney's office and county Bar Foundation, which administers the nonprofit fund. The event includes a two-mile walk, also along the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail. The first 300 entries will get T-shirts. A post-race party follows with food, music by WNAV, awards and prizes.

The event, normally the first Sunday in November, was moved up because it fell the day after the Downs Park 5 Miler on Nov. 4. That race is sponsored by the Annapolis Striders, a runners' group that helps out with the Fund Run, said Shelley George, the Fund Run coordinator.

The fund is supposed to catch people who fall through the cracks - those who are uninsured or not covered for a specific event, said Bill Roessler, deputy state's attorney. The fund pays to replace doors, windows and locks, to professionally clean up crime scenes and for counseling.

Several years ago, the fund paid several thousand dollars for a woman to bury her two sons who had been killed, George said. She does not know how many people the fund has helped, but said her office normally doles out most of the money in the $10,000 fund every year.

If the criminal is convicted, the state attorney's office seeks a portion of the restitution to repay the fund. The payout is usually less than $500, George said.

The run's entry fees and sponsorships usually raise enough to cover the fund for another year, she said. Paul Reed Smith Guitars of Stevensville is the largest donor this year with a contribution of $5,000.

The fund has inspired the development of similar funds in Prince George's County and Baltimore. George will meet with Frederick County officials to discuss the idea next month.

Barbara Deuink, Roessler's Severna Park neighbor, will miss this weekend's run for the first time while she is out of town but encouraged others to come out. The course is short enough that children can run, too, she said. Organizers put out balloons and have a rousing warm-up session before runners hit the trail.

"It's this big, colorful, playful family event," Deuink said. "To me, this race is really so much fun."

run or walk

WHAT:

Victims' Fund ninth annual 5K Run and 2-mile walk

WHEN:

Register at 7 a.m. Sunday. Race begins at 8:15 a.m.

WHERE:

Park Plaza, Route. 2 between McKinsey and Robinson roads in Severna Park. The run is on the Baltimore & Annapolis Trail.

COST:

$18

INFORMATION:

Registration forms are available on the Victims' Fund page on www.statesattorney-annearundel.com.

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