More and more people find themselves working toward the goal of getting in shape as summer months draw near.

It’s something Kenneth Cavey, pastor of Memorial Baptist Church in Killeen, is racing toward after participating in the True Blue 5k run at Carl Levin Park Saturday.

Two years ago, Cavey lived a completely different lifestyle.

“I had played athletics through college with a chance to try out to play professional baseball,” he said. “But then life went on and I picked up weight.”

Before he knew it, he found himself sitting on the couch and 70 pounds overweight.

“I decided I didn’t want that to become my lifestyle,” he said. “I work out five days a week now, and lost about 102 pounds in the last two years.”

The pastor has a passion for running, just as his church has a passion for helping abused and neglected children. Those passions are why he, with nearly 100 other runners, participated in the 5K hosted by the Children’s Advocacy Center of Central Texas.

“We deal a lot with child advocacy in our church,” he said. “Unfortunately, Bell County has one of the highest rates of kids being abused or in difficult situations with foster care.”

Jeanine Madden, Harker Heights Library children’s librarian, also participated.

“I always love to run for a good cause,” she said. “I love running in general and anytime you can do both at the same time then it’s a good thing.”

Shauna Anduze, group fitness director at Heritage Park Fitness, helped runners prepare for the race by conducting a body warm-up session.

“We like being out in the community and showing support for athletes and running and promoting wellness in the community,” she said. “I think this event is a great thing and something we need in the community especially with all the abuse that happens in this area.”

About 1,138 children from Bell and Coryell counties were victims of child abuse and neglect in 2012, according to the Child Advocacy Center.

“Some of these kids are orphans where their parents choose not to take care of them or can’t take care of them,” Cavey said. “So I think it’s a good place for people in the community and the church to fill in and experience the mission of Christ.”

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