By Erin Vandenberg, Community Contributor
The Oak Park Runners Club (OPRC) has announced a $25,000 gift of race proceeds from the Good Life Race in support of both the Collaboration for Early Childhood and the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry. “We had a record turnout for the 2016 Good Life Race and we are delighted to support the works of both of these community race partners.” said Keith Strom, Race Director. “We are tremendously grateful to all our sponsors, volunteers and participants who ensure the success of the Good Life Race, and make this type of community engagement possible.”
For 35 consecutive years, the Oak Park Runners Club 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. More information is available at http://goodliferace.com or http://oprc.net/.
The OPRC is allocating $17,500.00 to the Collaboration for Early Childhood. The two organizations have worked together since 2012 to improve the Junior Dash for the five and under crowd as part of a family event aimed at emphasizing the joy in running. “The Collaboration for Early Childhood is honored by and deeply grateful to the Runners Club for its support. We enjoy our partnership. Many of our child care and preschool providers have the children running as preparation for the race and encourage their families to participate. The Junior Dash is a terrific 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. For more information visit their website at https://collab4kids.org/.
The OPRC is apportioning $7,500.00 to Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry in support of their mission to work together as a community to reduce hunger. “We are thrilled that the Oak Park Runners Club is supporting their neighbors in need with such a wonderful gift,” said Michele Zurakowski, Executive Director. “A HUGE thank you to all the runners and walkers whose generosity will allow us to provide a week’s worth of groceries to 472 families!”
The Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry provides hunger relief, benefits counseling, and nutritional counseling to eligible families living in 12 zip codes in Cook County. For more information, visit their website at http://oprffoodpantry.org/.