Tag Archives: ABCRun

ABC Run #113, for Boys & Girls Club

ABC #113 on November 3 combined the first Tuesday night run of the season at the Anderson’s with “soup and chili night”, generating a cool $512 in donations for the Boys & Girls Club. Thanks so much to the 49 participants for the fun and your donations.abc115a

The run and party was enhanced by a couple of special events:
(1) Dan Anderson literally got lit by running in a glow-in-the-dark “ABC costume” (try to find him in the featured photo). Naturally, runners relied on Dan to memorize the new course and lead them through it. The amazing thing is Dan came up with this costume with only a day’s notice.
(2) It was Kelly Bower’s birthday, giving us a chance to embarrass her with our enthusiastic but less than harmonious rendition of “happy birthday to you” (and to add cake to the list of desserts).
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Thanks very much also to everyone who donated food. We always have the greatest post-run feast! This may not be a complete list (sorry) but here is the menu that we can recall:
Randy Barnett (Noodles & Company chicken noodle soup),
Ray Ceresa (DoubleTree Hotel chocolate chip cookies),
Meg Anderson (vegetable soup, bread, angel food cake),
Sharri Pelarske (chili),
Peg Stark (snack mix),
Wendy & Dan Anderson (bread),
Denny McDowell (Avanti’s bread),
Laurel Schumacher (pumpkin cookies),
Kathy Alexander (pecans),
Erin Furimsky (apple & cheese slices),
Carrie Mack (veggie tray),
Charlie & Joyce Grotevant (veggie tray),
Stacy Sheridan (brownies),
Pat Ring (peanut butter bars),
Tom Crain (strawberries for the angel food cake),
Angela Funk (Snickers bars and Peanut Butter Cups).

ABC Run #114 to benefit the Adopt-A-Family program will be held on Saturday, December 5 at the home of Lisa and Jay Sparks.  We hope to see you then.

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ABC Run/Walk #108, April 19, 2015

April 19 was, luckily, a good morning to run (the rain held off) so we were blessed with 56 enthusiastic participants that donated an impressive total of $2,000 for The Baby Fold. This is the third year in a row that donations have met or exceeded $2,000.


Dianne Schultz, CEO of The Baby Fold, expressed her sincere thanks for our efforts. Then we headed out the door for our group photo and run. The first run option was a 3-mile route up the trail to near I55 and back. The north end of the trail was extended by ½ mile last summer so the long run option this year was increased from 6 miles to 7 miles so that we could go to the new end of the trail and back. You might say the theme of this run was “going the extra mile to prevent child abuse.”

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The post-run pot luck feast was awesome as usual including coffee cake from Meg Anderson, oatmeal and a quinoa/mixed fruit dish from Jenny Keen, pastries from Vince Donohue, grapes from Bill Hahm, juices from Tom Crain, coffee cake from Mary Pinkham, home-made energy bars from Denise Goff and much more (muffins, cookies, banana bread). Sorry I didn’t get the names of all of the food contributors. Thanks to Jenny Keen for a great job of hosting us at The Baby Fold and thanks to all of you for making it great fun and another huge success!

The next ABC Run (#109) will be Saturday, May 16 at/for the Timber Pointe Easter Seals Camp.  This event will be run in conjunction with Multi-Sport day.  If you want, you can add a bike ride and/or a swim and then enjoy the cookout.  See the Lake Run Club page of Facebook for details and to let us know if you will be participating.

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ABC #106, for C.O.T.A., 3-3-2015

It was a wonderful evening as 45 participants generously donated a nice sum of $770 to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association in support of the Spencer family from Downs.  It was heartwarming to see so many people come together to help a family that has faced the challenge of having sons, Austin and Mason, obtain bone marrow transplants.   Austin is back in school but Mason is very ill and has not left Cincinnati children’s hospital since August 1st.

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To kick off the festivities, Angie Stafford, a friend of the Spencer family, sincerely thanked us for our effort.  Next on the agenda was a brisk four mile run or walk, followed by a smorgasbord of Lasagna.  In order to fit in this special ABC run request, we combined it with our traditional “last Tuesday night winter run at the Anderson’s” lasagna feast.  The lasagna choices were Beef lasagna, beef/sausage lasagna, black bean lasagna, spinach/mushroom lasagna (Meg Anderson); Chicken lasagna (Pat Rink); Eggplant lasagna (Robyn Walter). Sides included pistachio salad (Rich Beal), lettuce salad & veggie tray (Meg), fruit salad (Wendy Anderson), bread (Angie Stafford), crackers & cheese (Laurel Schumacher) and more! Deserts included cookies (Kevin Fahling, Bill Hahm, Jennifer Funk), cake (Rich Beal), brownies (Stacie Sheridan), and more! Sorry, so much was happening that I didn’t catch who all brought food and drink. Suffice it to say that nearly everyone brought something and there were plenty of leftovers.

We are now three runs into our 11th year of ABC runs. The total giving for all 106 ABC runs is $80,615. Thanks so much to everyone who has provided financial support, food, and encouragement.

The next ABC run will be Saturday, March 28, 8:30 a.m. at Robyn Walter’s home to support the McLean County Child Protection Network.

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ABC Run #98, for Boys & Girls Club

Adventure Benefiting Children #98 was held Sunday, June 29, at the Anderson’s.  An adventurous group of 33 participants generously contributed a total of $435 to the Boys & Girls Club of B-N.   Jenny Hall, the program director of the Boys & Girls Club (accompanied by her son, Jeremiah) was able to join us before our run to communicate her appreciation for our efforts.

Most of us ran a 4-mile “calisthenics” route.  The route included stops at three parks/playgrounds (Ewing Park, Underwood Park, Hoose School).  At each stop, we had the option to perform calisthenics at/near the playground equipment, for which we could deduct 5 seconds per rep from our elapsed time.  We call these events “Adventures” so I thought this would add adventure to our run.  It turned out to be fun and social.  The competitive aspect was light hearted.  We ran in our usual groups and waited for each other to do our push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups before moving on the next stop.

The best net time was turned in by Joe Brannan (you should have seen 6’ 8” Joe doing pull-ups).  Special mention goes to Pat Sheridan for doing the most reps (150 pushups, 30 pull-ups, 20 dips), Karen Dudek for choosing to run slowly enough for me to lead, and to Lisa Sparks for adding a rule change to allow credit for planks.


Back at the house we enjoyed a feast provided by: Meg Anderson (coffee cake, blueberry french toast, crockpot casserole, orange juice), Stacy Sheridan (egg casserole), Lisa Sparks (apple pie bread from Great Harvest), Scott Todd (zucchini muffins), Rich Beal (blueberry mini-muffins and lemon cups), Jeffrey McCarther (doughnuts), Joe Brannan (strawberries), Mike Laffey (mixed fruit), Angela Funk (Luna bars and Cliff bars).

Thanks so much to everyone for your enthusiastic participation, generous donations, and for bringing tasty food as well.

ABC Run #99/pool party to benefit St. Jude will be held on Sunday morning, July 20 at the home of Julie and Brian Sibley.  We hope to see you then.

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ABC Run #97/Multi-Sport Training Day, May 17

Adventures Benefiting Children Run #97/Multi-Sport Training Day was held at the Timber Pointe Outdoor Center on May 17.  A total of 85 generous participants raised an awesome total of $1,451 for the Easter Seals Timber Pointe Outdoor Center.  Thanks so much to everyone who supported this event through your participation, donations, help with organizing, and providing food and drink.  Thanks for organizing goes to Kevin McCarthy, John Pratt, and others from the LRC, Tri-Sharks, and Masters Swim Team.


The theme song for this event could have been the theme song from the movie, Frozen.  The temps at the start had barely crawled into the forties before we started.  The run started a bit later than usual because we gave participants more time to find the location (we met in a different building this year).  After a few words from John Pratt about how important Timber Pointe is to the kids that attend camps and to their parents, Meg Anderson got us organized at about 8:20 for our traditional group photo and we were on our way.  I took the camera and did some interval training trying to get running photos and then I handed the camera off to Meg to get more action shots.  You can find all the photos on the Facebook Multi-Sport page.


The swim took place from 9:00 to 10:00 and the temps (in the forties) that were so great for running were not so great for the swimmers.  Even those wearing wetsuits were frozen (and not singing “the cold never bothered me anyway”).  The bicycle ride started at 10:30 with Mick Hannah leading a group on a ride of about 26 miles, and Kevin McCarthy led a group on a ride of about 13 miles.  Despite the temps which had only climbed to about 50, Richard Verdery wore a sleeveless bicycle jersey.  He might have been singing “the cold never bothered me anyway”, but he was shivering before the start, muttering something about just toughing it out.

The day concluded with a fantastic cookout, complete with a keg.  I don’t know what kind of beer that was but it sure tasted good after running and/or swimming and/or bicycling.  The cookout included brats, burgers, and chicken breasts.  Thanks, everyone, for such a fun time!

ABC Run #98 to benefit the Boys & Girls Club will be on Sunday, June 29 at 7:30 AM (doors open at 7:00) at the Anderson home (112 Doud Dr, Normal).

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ABC Run #93, for Sugar Grove Nature Center

IMG_5293It was a nice day with a temperature above freezing as opposed to the sub-zero temps earlier in the week.  The roads were in good condition due to a recent plowing and sanding of the running route.  With all that going for us, a great group of 44 runners showed up, including five new ABC runners (Bob Broad, Julie Hile, Tanya Giannotti, Eddie Lloyd, and Jim Street).

We collected a total of $1,620 for the Sugar Grove Nature Center.  Actually, we collected $810 from the run.  The other $810 will come from a matching grant from the Hazel Funk Holmes Trusts literature books, environmental education resources, and new puppets for the puppet stage.

Angela Funk of the Sugar Grove Nature Center was a great host.  She opened the building a half-hour early, created a very friendly atmosphere, and provided lots of refreshments.  Before we took off running, I presented an annual “ABC Big Dog” award to Pat Sheridan and his dog, Max, for attending the most ABC runs last year (nine).  IMG_5290Angela then gave us a big “thank you”, said a few words about the nature center, and then ran the whole seven miles with us.  Angela had quite a day with hosting the ABC run, running the ABC run, and later that night, accepting the LRC award for “best new runner.”  Angela was inspired to run by hosting ABC runs.  After seeing how much fun we all had, she just had to join us.

Back at the main building, we enjoyed the camaraderie, refreshments provided by Sugar Grove Nature Center, and the food provided by so many runners that I don’t know who brought all the food.  I do know that Meg Anderson brought coffee cake and scones, Stacy Sheridan brought breakfast casserole, Senthil Ramasamy brought bananas, Kevin Fahling brought chocolate chip cookies, and Kathy Alexander brought gluten-free dip. Thanks so much to everyone that attended and/or contributed.

The next ABC (#94) will be Saturday, February 15 for the Scott Early Learning Center.       IMG_5303

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Adventures Benefiting Children #92, for Adopt-A-Family

The cold front did not chill the enthusiasm of the 40 participants that came to the Sparks’ home on December 7 to enjoy a fun run, a great breakfast, and to donate a fine total of $525 to the Adopt-A-Family program.  Your donations will be used to provide a great Christmas for one very grateful family.  Thanks so much to all of you! ABC #92

The family (young mother, father, newborn boy) we supported became eligible for assistance because of their involvement in the Healthy Start program which is a highly effective program in the deterrence of child abuse and neglect.

Adopt-a-Family was started in 1980 by two volunteers.  Their goal was to provide Christmas for a few needy families and several foster children.  The program was created as an effort to meet the social, emotional, and financial needs of low-income, multi-dysfunctional families.  The program grew and became a program of The Children’s Foundation.  For over 30 years, The Children’s Foundation Adopt-a-Family Program has provided NEW items for local needy children and families at Christmas.  It is a very comprehensive program as it provides for the household needs of the family as well as those of the individual.

Only families and individuals who are receiving services from The Children’s Foundation are eligible for Adopt-a-Family.   Eligibility for individuals and families is determined by their Family Support Worker.  This is not an open enrollment program.  Recipients are required to sign a contract stating that they will not pursue getting gifts from other Christmas charity programs. All voluntary donations will go to help our family in need.

After Lisa Sparks thanked everyone and we took the traditional group photo, the runners headed to the Constitution Trail for their run.  We were all treated to a great breakfast highlighted by fabulous SMURF CAKES prepared by Lisa Sparks.  Blending the blueberries in the pancake batter added an artistic touch that our usual chef, Jay Sparks, probably would never have tried.  Rounding out the fare was wonderful coffee cake from Meg Anderson, delicious breakfast casserole from Stacy Brandt, and much more.

The total amount contributed for all 92 ABC runs is now $62,040.   We have supported 26 different charities.  Here are the top ten charities in terms of total dollars contributed:
$11,129 – St. Jude (eleven runs)
$7,774 – The Baby Fold (ten runs)
$4,154 – Sugar Grove Nature Center (eight runs)
$4,129 – El Paso/Gridley Jr. High Cross Country program (seven runs)
$3,685 – Austin Carter benefit
$3,459 – Heartland Head Start (six runs)
$3,380 – Boys & Girls Club (six runs)
$3,018 – The Children’s Foundation: Scott Early Learning Center (five runs)
$2,781 – Adopt-A-Family (four runs)
$2,046 – Haley Carter benefit

Thanks so much for all your support!

ABC Run #93 will be 9:00 a.m., Saturday, January 11 at/for the Sugar Grove Nature Center.

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ABC Run #91, for B/N Boys & Girls Club

by Merlin Anderson

Adventures Benefiting Children #91 was held Friday evening, November 15, at the Anderson’s.  We did a night run because it worked well last November.  This year we had a nice crowd of 42 participants, most of whom ran our new neighborhood 4-mile route.  Having a new course had the advantage of making it easier for me to control the pace of the lead group.  Faster runners had to stay with me until they were confident they knew the course.  It’s an out-and-back course, so my lead only lasted through the first half.  Many runners wear lights, so runners of all speeds were able to stay on course by following the lights.  For safety (and other reasons), a good position is to ABC #91be near Dan Anderson because he wears so many lights that drivers can’t help but see him.

Back at the house, the runners bypassed the sports drink that was outside and went straight into the house to sample the fantastic fare of food & beverages.  Thanks so much to the providers of the main course:  (1) Randy Barnett and Noodles & Company for the chicken noodle soup, (2) Debbie Walmsley for the vegetarian chili, and (3) Meg Anderson for the vegetable soup, meat chili, and veggie tray.  Thanks so much also to everyone that brought food & beverages to supplement the main course.  I managed to notice that Stacie Sheridan brought Texas sheet cake, Dave Ploense brought bite-size cheesecakes, and Larry Schumacher brought Grove Street cookies.  It just happened to be Larry’s birthday, so we all got to sing “Happy Birthday”.

Thanks much to everyone that brought food/drink and made generous contributions.  A really nice sum of $425 was donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-NormalGrant Anderson, the new director of the Boys & Girls Club was able to join us and communicate his thanks for our efforts and the importance of the Boys & Girls Club to the communities they serve.

ABC Run #92 will be held at 8:30 a.m., December 7 at the Sparks’ home, to benefit the Adopt A Family program.  We hope to see you then.

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Adventures Benefiting Children Run #90, for Heartland Head Start

by Merlin Anderson

A great morning for running greeted the 46 participants that showed up on October 6 at the Sugar Grove Nature Center to support the Heartland Head Start program with total contributions of $619.

ABC90bMany thanks to Angela Funk for allowing us to use the facility.  Thanks also to our co-hosts, Sharon Cochran, a member of the Friends of Heartland Head Start, and Karen Bruning, the director of Heartland Head Start.  Angela and Sharon and Karen did a great job of hosting us and we really enjoyed the food & drink.  The menu included Panera bagels and Starbucks iced coffee (from Karen Bruning), bananas and bread (from Sharon Cochran), coffee cake (from Meg Anderson), banana cake (from Stacie Sheridan),  chocolate chip cookies (from Kevin Fahling), assorted treats (Angela Funk), and much more (my apologies to all those that I missed).

This is the sixth time we have done a run for Heartland Head Start.  The funds raised by all six ABC Runs add up to a tidy sum of $3,429.   Thanks so much to every participant for your fellowship, sharing food, and generous financial support.  Karen Bruning sent me a nice email including some thanks to pass along.  Karen wrote “On behalf of Heartland Head Start, I would like to sincerely thank all of you for coming out to support our organization!  It was great to meet you all and please know your dollars will assist our program greatly!”

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ABC Run/Pool Party #89, for St. Jude

By Merlin Anderson and Julie Sibley

ABC Run #89 was hosted by Julie Sibley at her home on September 8 to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Unfortunately her husband, Brian Sibley, was out of town for work but didn’t mind having 38 people over to their house in his absence.  He was more than happy to get out of clean-up duties!


Julie is in the St. Jude Heroes Program, planning to run the Chicago Marathon.  As an extra incentive, Julie promised to match all ABC2donations.  With the matching included, the amount raised for St. Jude was an awesome $1,736!  Thanks so much to all the contributors.

The venue was great, especially the deck and backyard pool.  The temperature was perfect for either swimming or just lounging after  the run.  Kids of all ages had a blast in the pool.  One of the comical moments of the morning was watching 10 adults try to realign the screen door that had fallen out of its tracks – such teamwork.

The course was great, a country adventure including a gravel road and a water stop at the 2.5 mile mark manned by Dan Anderson who also took photos and demonstrated the environmentally ABC3friendly hydration system that was used at the We Care races.

The menu was great, including a great variety of healthy and tasty choices.  A few highlights include Robyn Walter’s made-from-scratch protein bars, Laurel Schumacher’s homemade apple butter, Meg Anderson’s coffee cake, Kevin Fahling’s cookies, and Julie’s mystery dish (an egg, hash brown and turkey sausage casserole).  Thanks to all who provided the food.  As usual, there was more than enough for all.

The experience of hosting was great according to Julie’s post on Facebook: “I am so touched by the generosity of the people in this club and this community.  A few people made some very, very ABC4generous donations and others sent checks even though they were out of town.  Wow.  I highly recommend participating in, contribution towards, or even hosting an ABC run – your heart will be filled.”

We have now held a total of eleven ABC runs for St. Jude, totaling $11,104.  The total of all 89 ABC runs is $61,441.

Thanks so much to everyone for all of your support!

ABC Run #90, to benefit Heartland Head Start will be held at the Sugar Grove Nature Center onABC5 October 6 at 8:00 a.m. (doors open at 7:30).

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