Tommy Hawk welcomed youngsters to victory as they crossed the finish line
More than 150 youngsters lined up for the 360 Youth Service One Mile Kids Fun Run that stepped off at 8AM Sun. April 15, presented by Calamos Investments at CityGate Centre.
After an evening of threatening thunderstorms with hail and strong winds as well as a forecast that could have canceled the 13th annual run/walk, overcast skies and seasonal temperatures attracted nearly 1,000 participants to the fundraising event that included a 5K and 10K , in addition to the One Mile Kids Fun Run. A Wheelchair Event was also offered, but this year the special route did not not attract participants.
Whenever PN caught up with race director Dawn Portner, pictured here, she quipped, “Do I look happy that the weather cooperated? Do I look happy?”
Adult volunteers with a long association to 360 Youth Services along the one-mile route inspired the young runners to keep up their pace along the route that started near Calamos Investments, headed toward the Hotel Arista with a couple of loops before heading back to the finish line at Calamos in CityGate Centre, located on Naperville’s northwest side, off Ferry Road near I-88 and Route 59.
Below 360 Youth Service Past President Tony Chirico was stationed to assist, if needed, runners as they passed his spot along the route.
Chirico also put his hands together to inspire the young runners.
Volunteer Skip Junkins has been a familiar face at 360 Youth Services events for the past decade.
Naperville resident and CLTV Anchor Dolly McCarthy is pictured here with folks in purple Spring Ahead spirit wear. McCarthy served as emcee of the event.
Three Cheers! The first youngster to finish the one-mile route was Jack James of Wheaton with a time of 6:13. James was followed by Cameron Ferus in second place and Liam Cahill in third place, both of Naperville.
The first ten youngsters finished within 7:24.
After crossing the finish line, every participant had a chance to meet Tommy Hawk, the official mascot for the Chicago Blackhawks.
FYI: Founded in 1971 by a group of concerned parents and community and religious leaders who saw the need for local professional services for youth and their families, 360 Youth Services was first known as Naperville Community Outreach and then NCO Youth and Family Services. Today, 360 Youth Services continues to work cooperatively with many local organizations, playing a leadership role in the development of programs that encourage positive social change.
Every January, 360 Youth Services hosts another family-friendly event called the Chocolate Festival at the Neuqua Valley High School Freshman Gold Campus.
For more than 20 years, the nonprofit group has hosted its annual dinner auction in the summer. The 22nd auction is slated for 5:30PM Thurs., Sept. 20 at Abbington Banquets in Glen Ellyn.
P.S. For more than 80 photos from the 5K and 10K events, be sure to see the photo gallery from the Spring Ahead Run.