I don't know if I need to tell you too much about CASA. I think it's pretty well known what they do for people in need in West Central Missouri.

But just in case, I'll give you a quick rundown, so you're fresh on the details of why this is such a great local event supporting a great cause. Citizens Against Spousal Abuse is the full name of the group, and their mission is to empower domestic and sexual violence survivors to regain control of their lives through education, advocacy, and coordination of community resources.  They do so much to help women and children, and not just the victims, but also helping their extended families and support group.

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So obviously, great cause.  They're planning a fundraiser on this particular occasion to help spread awareness for April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The event coming up is on April 1st (no foolin').  They're going to have a Color Fun Run!  The check in will begin at 8:00 a.m. at the Missouri State Fairgrounds, specifically the Mathewson Exhibition Center parking lot. The whole shebang starts promptly at 9:00 a.m.  You'll see the people, signs, tables, etc, and I'm sure it'll be pretty obvious where to park and sign in and stuff.  It's $30 to sign up on the day, and they'll have cash prizes.  It's a 5k course and you can walk or run it.  Now, since it's a color run, that means runners will be showered with colored powder, made of food-grade corn starch (so it's totally safe), at stations along the run. I think usually it's one color station every mile or so. So five miles, five stations, five colors.  They could switch it up though, don't quote me on that.  It'll just be very colorful!

Now you might be asking, Behk, where does Nepal play in to this? Didn't you say in the headline there was a connection? Is this clickbait?!! No, no. Let me unpack that. Well, the idea of a Color Run initially was actually inspired by the Hindu Festival of Colors, Love and Spring, which is celebrated in March in India and Nepal (I'm sure Hindus in other places celebrate it too, but that's where it's most popular). It's called Holi. It's only a day, and it normally comes around this time when Spring starts, you know, to celebrate and hope for a good harvest this year. So of course that means bright colors and shaking off the winter doldrums. Holi is a sacred ancient tradition of Hindus, but for many Hindus and some non-Hindus, it is a playful cultural event and an excuse to throw colored water at friends or strangers. You know, just playful stuff. And of course, bright, happy colors everywhere will be very festive, right? Of course. So the guy who came up with the Color Run (Fun Fact: his name is Travis Synder. He's from Utah. Thanks, Google) wanted to incorporate that kind of happy, fun, bright energy into his event. And now, we can all have fun while....running? Ok, running doesn't sound fun to me, so I would do the walking part. But still!

And if you just want to cheer someone on but also have some fun yourself, check out the other parts of the event. The Home & Garden Show will be going on in the Mathewson from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and features Casa's Art Exhibit along the Messene. Casa's Art Exhibit will feature community members art work depicting survival of abuse and impacts of abuse. Vote on your favorite art work for People's Choice. $1 per vote. Winner will receive a People Choice plaque and $50 gift card.

You can ask questions or get other information on their Facebook page. Sorry, I didn't tell you about this early enough to qualify for early bird stuff, but those that did sign up get a t-shirt and a medal. Everyone else gets BRAGGIN' RIGHTS. Which is still awesome.

So why not make plans to get out there and get a little colorful? It'll be like taking a mini vacation across the world, without the time consuming travel and crippling monetary costs. Win win!

Colorfully yours,

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