Becky Weichhand passed away last year, and the adoption advocacy organization she led is planning an annual event to honor her legacy in the field.
On June 23, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) will host its first 5K race in honor of Weichhand at 7:30 a.m. The planned to be annual event will take place at Bluemont Park in Arlington, Virginia.
CCAI was founded in 2001 to provide members of Congress and policymakers information on adoption and foster care issues to help inform them as they craft related legislation. Since then, CCAI has launched several signature programs, including the Angels in Adoption program and gala and the Foster Youth Internship (FYI) program, to help raise awareness about issues related to adoption and foster care.
Weichhand was the organization’s fourth executive director and served in that role for more than four years until her death Nov. 28, 2019, from cancer.
“Becky was an avid runner, so we thought it would be great to do something around her interests,” Kate McLean, director of programs at CCAI, told The Chronicle of Social Change. “It’s our first 5K, but we hope to roll it out for many, many years to come. It’s a celebration of her and her dedication to the cause.”
The event takes place just a few short weeks after a new group of Foster Youth Interns have started their summer internships in various congressional offices. A seven-member team of current and former FYIs will participate in the event.
Alison Meyers, a former intern and this year’s resident assistant for the program, is heading up the current and former FYI team. She shared on the team page: “I am excited and proud to run in memory of Becky because I know she would’ve done it for me, and any other FYI alum, without hesitation.”
CCAI’s goal is to raise at least $10,000 in honor of Weichhand to help fund this year’s FYI program. So far, $2,700 has been raised on the campaign site.
Bethany Haley is currently serving as the organization’s interim executive director and says she’s excited to continue Weichhand’s work and honor her CCAI legacy.
“We are thrilled to be able to establish an annual event to both honor Becky’s amazing impact and legacy, and to strengthen the mission of the work and organization she cared so deeply about,” Haley said.
People can get involved in the 5K in a number of ways – by participating in the event, volunteering to help or donating. Those wishing to volunteer can contact McLean at email@example.com.