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Getting Out and Giving Back

Reflections on healthy ways to volunteer.

A brightly shining sun, temperatures above zero on a regular basis, snow melting into streams in the gutters of the street. This type of environment is coming upon us again, and quickly. As the weather turns warmer, we tend to focus on improving our health and throw much else to the wayside. Gone soon will be the days of volunteering inside a warm and cozy food pantry, or indoor at schools. Oftentimes volunteering itself ends up on the back burner for many as they put away the comforters and instead pull out the Tai-Bo DVDs.

Many of us forget the importance of year-round volunteerism. Opportunities to volunteer are readily available, such as choosing to participate in cleaning up local roads, cleaning up portions of the Prairie Path, and participating in bicycle races and other outdoor fundraisers. These are easy ways to participate in healthy activities while working for various causes.

Despite that many fun runs and marathon fundraisers take place in the fall, there are still quite a few around Glen Ellyn that support good causes in the spring. 

The St. Paddy’s 5k takes place in Naperville, carries a $30-40 registration fee, and supports the DuPage Senior Citizens Council and Meals on Wheels programs. This event is scheduled for March 12 at 8 a.m.

The Lisle Chamber Spring Sprint is held in Lisle, includes both a 5k and 10 k race, has a $5-40 registration fee depending on which race the registration is for (this even includes a Tot Dash), and fees support the Lisle Chamber of Commerce. This fun run/walk is scheduled for  March 13 at 8 a.m.

The Bloom & Zoom 10k (also in Lisle), requires a $27.50-$32.50 registration fee, benefits the Morton Arboretum, an internationally-recognized outdoor museum, and offers a path touring the flower blooms and plants throughout. This is a first-annual event slated for April 16 at 6 a.m.

The Alzheimer’s Association- Greater Illinois Chapter Race to Reverse 5k is held in Lombard, holds a $30 registration fee, and benefits the fight to reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease via the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. This fundraiser is scheduled for April 16 at 7:30 a.m.

There exists a long list of upcoming running volunteer and fundraising events in the area coming up after those listed as well. A complete compilation can be found here.

As many Glen Ellynites begin to pack up their sleds and snow boots, pulling out their running shoes is also a complimentary effect. As we’re all aware, however, no one should just jump into running one of these things.

Anyone interested in running as a way to volunteer and simultaneously reclaim health, are invited to join the Glen Ellyn Runner’s Club. For a minimal fee members are offered multiple benefits, including training programs and group conditioning runs throughout town. More information on the Glen Ellyn Runner’s Club can be found on their website at www.glenellynrunners.org.

As the weather clears up, gear up, get motivated and volunteer! I'd love to see some of you in Naperville!

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