Lutheran Community Services is hosting the June Bug Fun Run to raise money in support of abused children

by: KEVIN SPERL - Jeremy Anderson, RIGHT, talks with Donna Hamlin at the start of their upcoming June Bug Fun Run.

Lutheran Community Services (LCS) id inviting local residents to run together for the kids of Prineville on Saturday, June 7, along the scenic Ochoco Creek Trail.

The June Bug Fun Run is a benefit event in support of the organization’s services for abused and neglected children in Prineville.

“The June Bug Run is about giving these suffering kids a chance to grow into the strong, healthy people they are meant to become,” said Jeremy Anderson of LCS. “No trauma, however violent or terrifying, can destroy the miracle of a child’s resilience. Lutheran Community Services teaches kids about hope, and we need your help.”

That help comes in the form of a $20 registration fee to take part in the fun run that offers participants a choice between a three-mile run, or walk, along the Ochoco Creek Trail and heading up through "The Heights," or a more challenging five-mile run through the IronHorse development to Barnes Butte, with viewpoints looking out over Prineville.

For an extra $5, runners and walkers can purchase a commemorative T-shirt, with additional shirts available for $10 each. Children five and under, with a paying adult, are invited to participate for free.

According to Anderson, the money raised from the run will enable the nonprofit to extend its ability to offer intensive mental health services to the local community.

“We want to be able to offer some experiential type services to children that might not normally qualify to receive them,” he said.

Donna Hamlin, a mental health therapist with LCS, explained that these types of services might include animal assisted therapy, arts and crafts, or any number of parent/child outings.

“We like to get kids out of the office to do various activities,” she said. “These types of activities have a high therapy value.”

Local statistics show that these services are in high demand.

According to LCS, there were 91 childhood victims of abuse or neglect, 177 assessments for child abuse, 51 incidents of neglect, 13 incidents of physical abuse, and 11 incidents of sexual abuse in 2012, representing an increase of almost 50 percent over the previous year.

Data on child depression is more telling, with 25 percent of sixth graders admitting to feeling so sad for up to two weeks that they lost interest in their usual activities.

Additionally, 12 percent of those sixth graders reported considering suicide with another 7 percent admitting to attempting it.

The inaugural race has quickly drawn the support of the community as J and L Auto Restoration is paying for advertising, Crook County High School’s track coach Ernie Brooks is assisting with race timing and water station logistics and the Crook County Juvenile Department is manning the water stops.

The Prineville Oregon Runners Club (PORK) will be sending a group of runners to take part in the race and the Christian Motorcycle Association will be serving as course marshals.

Those attending the event will also have the opportunity to visit with “Bob” and “Woody,” two Alpacas from Camelid Camp, safely enclosed in a corral in Stryker Park.

“Camelid Camp is an opportunity for at-risk youth to practice skills such as staying calm, having empathy for others, paying attention, following directions, and learning new things,” said Anderson. “The camp provides kids a safe interaction with some of the world's cutest and most mysterious animals.”

For Hamlin, offering the race is all part of the therapy process.

“Being outdoors and getting some exercise is always a good thing for our mental health,” she said.

Anderson agreed.

“With mental health, our clients are not magically cured,” said Anderson, “We are here to do the best we can to break the cycle and this race will help us accomplish that.”

Let's Run Together for Strong, Healthy Kids!

The June Bug Fun Run is scheduled for Saturday, June 7, starting at 9 a.m.

The event takes place across from the Lutheran Community Services Northwest office, located at 365 N.E. Court St., in Prineville. Register on-line at

Contact Jeremy Anderson at 541-323-5360 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

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