Saturday, October 5, 2013
On Tuesday September 24, 2013 I had a front row seat to something that could only be termed as a blessing from God but in the form of about 500 Kindergarten through Fifth Graders
running in th 5th Annual Crosstown Classic. This year's theme was Run Because You Can. A theme that played out beautifully on this perfect September day.
This event is incredibly hosted by Mill Street School and open to all elementary schools in Naperville School District 203. The race consists of 3 races (400, 800 and Mile) in which kids can do any or all of the races. As you might guess, the energy and excitement at this event are unmatched. Imagine, if you will, 75 to 100 kids at one time toeing the start line and doing their best impression of Chariots of Fire,minus the beach, as the gun goes off. Just awesome!
Chuck Hoff,a phenomenal runner in his own right, is the Art Teacher at Mill. He and his crack staff which is made up of Mill Street staff, other elementary physical education teachers, and parents make this race go. I cannot imagine the amount of time that is put in to such a big event. I was a little late to the party as my school, Meadow Glens, just started attending the Crosstown last year. What I have seen in 2 years just gives me chills. The cheering, the high fives, the many pictures taken and the comraderie of all the schools to each other takes my breath away. This was just the tip of the iceberg as I found out a week or so before the event.
I was informed that this year's event was doing something a bit different. As I say these words, I can feel myself becoming emotional. I will turn in my "man card" if I have one left after this is posted on Denise's Blog.
Each year T-Shirts are designed and sold for the Classic. The money raised is used to support next year's event. Not this year. Chuck and others decided that the money should be donated to the Les Turner ALS Foundarion on behalf of Denise and I. Chuck said how we inspire him and others with the marathons we do together to bring about awareness for ALS. Denise and I just try to make the best of our situation. I don't look at it as inspiring anyone but I guess others see it that way. I feel like the inspirations were all those kids running races "because they can".
As if the T-Shirt donation wasn't enough. It didn't stop there. Rene Grady, a Mill Street parent, took it a step further. She contacted Jamba Juice to come to the event and sell their smoothies. For every drink sold, they donated a dollar to the Les Turner Foundation. She also contacted Les Turner to set up a donation booth. Someone contacted NCTV a NapervilleTelevision station who covered the event and even interviewed me. Through all of these gestures, the Crosstown Classic raised about $1300 for the Les Turner ALS Foundation in our name.
Although I will never be able to thank all the people that had anything to do with the Crosstown Classic, I just want to say how blessed Denise and I were from the event. I don't know what we would do without all the support we get from friends and perfect strangers. God does work in mysterious ways and in this case used a whole school community to remind Denise and I that we are not alone and have so much to be thankful for. See you at next year's Crosstown Classic!!