The Oak Park Runners Club (OPRC) has announced a $25,000 gift to support the Collaboration for Early Childhood. “The 2015 Good Life Race had a tremendous year and we are delighted to support the work of the Collaboration for Early Childhood,” said John Kolman, Race Director. The OPRC had decided to award the proceeds to an organization whose work benefits the entire community that leverages and integrates many resources to ensure all children have an equal opportunity for success in learning and in life. The OPRC is especially pleased to advance the work supporting Oak Park’s youngest children, knowing that is an age where we can make the biggest impact on children’s lives. We are tremendously grateful to all our sponsors, volunteers and the runners and walkers who make the Race a success and make this type of community engagement possible.

For 34 consecutive years, OPRC has hosted the Good Life Race, one of the most prestigious 5K race events in the Chicago area. The Race is a family friendly event that draws runners and walkers of all ages from the Oak Park River- Forest area and beyond. The Good Life Race has been awarded “Best Race in the Chicago Region” for three years running. The Good Life Race is also unique in that it boasts separate 5K races for men and women in addition to several additional family-oriented events. This popular community event brought out over 2,000 people to participate in the 5K races, the Youth Mile Race, Mother/Daughter and Father/Son competitions, 5K fitness walk, Health Fair and Junior Dash.

Keith Strom noted, under John’s leadership the OPRC first contacted the Collaboration for Early Childhood in 2012, seeking a long-term partnership between the two organizations to promote the Good Life Race to young families and to benefit the Collaboration. The two organizations worked together to improve the Junior Dash for the five and under crowd as part of a family event aimed at emphasizing joy in running. Participation in the Junior Dash over the past two years has more than tripled.

“The Collaboration for Early Childhood is tremendously grateful to the OPRC for their support. It has been a terrific partnership. Many of our child care and preschool providers have the children running as preparation for the race and they encourage their families to participate. The Junior Dash is a great way to showcase the fun and communal aspects of running for our youngest children, “said Carolyn Newberry-Schwartz, Executive Director.

The Collaboration for Early Childhood is a public/private partnership that leverages the resources of more than 60 agencies to create a community-wide system of high-quality programs and services that foster physical, cognitive and social-emotional development during the first five years of life.

Keith Strom, Oak Park Runners Club, Race Director, or (312) 404-4845
John Kolman, Oak Park Runners Club, Immediate Past Race Director,
Carolyn Newberry Schwartz, Collaboration for Early Childhood, Executive Director, or (708) 613-6122

Share This