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Superheroes and Sidekicks CAN Make a Difference

Child Abuse Network hosts the 2nd annual Superhero Challenge on Sunday, March 29.

By: Christopher Davis | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: March 2015

Event Chairs Marnie Phelps (left) and Leslie Croteau with their team of superheroes and sidekicks.

Event Chairs Marnie Phelps (left) and Leslie Croteau with their team of superheroes and sidekicks.

Join hundreds of superheroes in the rally to support victims of child abuse at the 2nd annual CAN Superhero Challenge.

On March 29, the Child Abuse Network will host a day filled with family activities at POSTOAK Lodge and Retreat. The sprawling retreat, located in the Osage Hills at 5323 W. 31st St. N. near the Botanic Garden, will provide the backdrop for two obstacle courses and more as CAN raises funds and awareness for their cause.

Marnie Phelps, event chair, explains the importance of the day. “The task to alleviate child abuse will never be easy, and child abuse is not a topic that people like to talk about, so I feel the CAN Superhero Challenge is an ideal way to increase visibility and awareness of CAN and these resources in our community.”

The Child Abuse Network is a nonprofit agency that provides intervention services. As the only agency of its kind in Tulsa, CAN focuses on responding to abuse when it happens. The agency assists in the coordination of services designed to provide a safe, child-friendly approach to helping the healing process begin.

The intervention is multidisciplinary. CAN partners with medical health professionals, therapists and case managers to properly assess and counsel victims and investigate allegations. Last year, the average age of the children CAN provided services for was about 7 ½ years old.
Leslie Croteau, who also chairs the event committee, is grateful for an opportunity to help CAN. “I was really wowed when I toured the facility, and wanted to volunteer.”  But, with three boys of her own, she hadn’t been able to dedicate as much time as she’d like. But then, “My friend, Marnie, asked me to get involved with this event. It’s been the perfect opportunity to help and do something for the families in our community.”

This will be the second year for the Superhero Challenge. Last year, the event anticipated 100 participants and ended up attracting about 200 people. This year, the committee aims to recruit 400 participants. With food, drinks and plenty of fun activities like face painting and bounce houses, there is no doubting the event’s success.

“This year we want to take it to another level,” says Croteau. She adds, “Everyone who participates gets an award.”

The CAN Superhero Challenge boasts two obstacle courses. The Superhero Challenge (designed for teens and adults) is a 1.8 mile run and obstacle challenge that includes jumping, climbing, crawling, pulling, throwing and trail running. The Sidekick Challenge (for kids 12 and under) is a half mile of jumping, climbing and crawling, finishing with a 78-foot inflatable obstacle course. Kids and adults of all ages are welcome to join the fun. Last year, children as young as three years old ran the Sidekick course.

Participants are encouraged to register early, and have until March 25 to register online or paper. Early registration is $25 for Superheroes and $15 for Sidekicks. On-site registration (fees increase by $5) will be available, too, beginning at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 29. At 2 p.m., the Sidekick Challenge begins. At 2:30 p.m., the Superhero Challenge begins, with groups spaced five minutes apart. 

For more information, contact

Child Abuse Network

(918) 624-0201

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Christopher Davis Profile Picture

About Author Christopher Davis

Christopher Davis is an educator and musician, as well as a writer. A California native, he resides in Tulsa with his wife, two sons and a modest menagerie of pets. When he isn't inspiring young minds, you will most likely find him spending time with his family or playing drums and percussion with Project Huckleberry or the Movetet. In addition to Value News, Davis also writes for Currentland. You can view his work at

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