Let the Training Begin

Let the Training Begin

Mercy Home Heroes Kickoff marks the start of marathon season

The official start of the marathon training season for our runners has begun, and we celebrated by bringing everyone together for an amazing Heroes Kickoff dinner!

Upon arrival, our Heroes were greeted with the gift of a Mercy Home gym sack filled with an assortment of running goodies. Before dinner, guests enjoyed a social hour and went on tours of the Home. Our friends at Dick Pond were also on hand with a selection of shoes and other running gear for purchase in our courtyard—with a portion of the proceeds coming back to Mercy Home!

In the spirit of marathon preparation, Heroes were able to do a little carb-loading as they enjoyed a fantastic pasta dinner prepared by Mercy Home’s very own chef, Nyah Griffin. Once everyone settled in, Mercy Home Heroes Coordinator Jim Harding got the ball rolling by welcoming everybody and thanking those who had travelled from out of state. He also acknowledged returning Heroes, first time marathoners, and top fundraisers.

“I want you to hear this from the bottom of my heart, how grateful I am that you believe in our young people,” Fr. Scott said. “You really are running to save the lives of children.”

Jim passed the microphone to Fr. Scott Donahue, who shared the different ways Mercy Home provides care for nearly a thousand youth and families each year. He also expressed his gratitude to the Heroes for their support and commitment to the kids of Mercy Home.

“I want you to hear this from the bottom of my heart, how grateful I am that you believe in our young people,” Fr. Scott said. “You really are running to save the lives of children.”

Heroes then had a chance to hear firsthand how their support changes lives when Nadine, a resident of Mercy Home, took to the podium and shared her own personal story. She talked about how Mercy Home helped her achieve her dream of going to college and provided a positive living environment that has helped her thrive.

“Mercy Home is made possible by Heroes such as each and every one of you – and I can say that each and every one of you are certainly my Hero.”

Heroes then had a chance to hear firsthand how their support changes lives when Nadine, a resident of Mercy Home, took to the podium and shared her own personal story. She talked about how Mercy Home helped her achieve her dream of going to college and provided a positive living environment that has helped her thrive.

“I am now living in a community that cares, supports, and motivates one another, and will be there for me for the rest of my life,” Nadine said.

“Mercy Home is made possible by Heroes such as each and every one of you – and I can say that each and every one of you are certainly my Hero.”

Chicago Marathon executive race director Carey Pinkowski was also on hand for the dinner and shared some fascinating information. Last year, there 12,500 first time marathoners who participated in the race; 11,000 charity runners; 10,000 runners from outside the U.S; more than 12,000 volunteers, and between all the media involved there were 1.7 million spectators.

“It was just an incredible experience…the inspiration that everyone gives is just an amazing feeling to have while you’re training for such a physical feat.”

All Mercy Heroes are provided free training with the Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA), and CARA’s Manager of Charity Partnerships Jill Andrada was in attendance as well. In 2017, Anrada ran her first marathon as a charity runner. In addressing the Heroes, she shared her positive experience running for charity.

“It was just an incredible experience,” Adrada said. “The inspiration that everyone gives is just an amazing feeling to have while you’re training for such a physical feat.”

She also shared some of the perks Heroes can enjoy in their marathon training through the partnership between Mercy Home and CARA.

We want to thank all the Heroes, partners, and guests who came out for our Kick Off dinner and made this a truly special night!

Comments

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discover More

Comments

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *