As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, our mission is to raise public awareness and provide tools to help adults protect children —in their family, in their community, and all over the World!
Founded in 2004, RAACE is the brainchild of Baltimore businessman, Kenneth Smith. Through his involvement with several Baltimore area child abuse charities, he saw firsthand that child sexual abuse happens in every part of society regardless of geography, race, or economic status. He witnessed the lingering mental and emotional damage cause by abuse and felt compelled to act. He shuddered to imagine his or any child suffering sexual abuse. It was this notion that inspired Ken to find a way to drive child sexual abuse out of the shadows and help countless families. Thus was born RAACE — Race Against Abuse of Children Everywhere — a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating child sexual abuse before it happens.
“My fight to end child sexual abuse began over 18 years ago after visiting “Illuminations” at St. Vincent’s Center. It was this program and the disturbing statistics that would bring me to my knees. Although I began RAACE on my own, our mission to prevent child sexual abuse requires a team effort. Please join our RAACE today.”
Until Every Child is Safe From Abuse, Our Race Has No Finish Line!
Long before Kenneth became involved with the plight of abused children, the Smith family was involved in professional racing. Kenneth’s brother, Steve Smith, Sr., left the family’s Florida home in the 1960s for Pennsylvania to compete in the Sprint Car world. Over the course of his career, he totaled hundreds of wins and was inducted into the Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2000.
Steve’s son, Steve Smith, Jr. (better known as “Stevie Smith“) followed in his father’s impressive footsteps and began racing at age 16. By 18 he was named the World of Outlaws Series Rookie of the Year. Since then he has garnered enough wins to put him on the Top 10 Win List of all time. Between the two of them, the father and son duo have over 300 hundred wins and are considered legends in the Sprint Car racing community.
The success and notoriety of his brother and nephew helped Kenneth see an opportunity to get his message to a huge audience, and do so in a way that would satisfy the two requirements he knew he needed to succeed:
- Be non-intrusive
- Be highly visible
This connection and insight paved the way for The Race Against Abuse of Children Everywhere (RAACE) to start its engines and never slow down. Other sports teams, businesses, faith-based organizations, and community groups have since joined the race to prevent child sexual abuse, and RAACE continues to extend its reach into other arenas where children and families are prevalent.
Although Kenneth and his family now call Harford County, Maryland home and have built substantial recognition in their community, child sexual abuse has no geographic boundaries. We have RAACE Fans all over the world and we need your help to continue to spread the word.