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Hinsdale, Illinois |

Published October 4, 2007                                                           

Run begets good work for Wellness, Rotary

By Polly Rix

   The Rotary Run for Wellness House epitomizes what teamwork is about.
   From the teams who band together with names like Wellness Warriors and Walk a Mile in my Shoes to the organizers who spend months planning, the annual fall race is all about people working together.
   “I do partnerships for a living. That’s what development is all about,” said Tim Walker, Wellness House director of development and marketing. “I have never seen a partnership of two different nonprofit organizations that have separate missions work so well.”
   Since the Wellness House and the Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Rotary combined their fall races four years ago, thousands of kids, families and community members have connected with the mission of each group.
   “It’s just blossomed,” Walker said.
   Rotarian Greg Donnelly has watched the run grow in the number of participants, funds raised and awareness.
   “The Rotary Club had taken (its) event from 400 people to about 800-900 people. We were raising $25,000 — a little less or a little more. Then the Wellness House had a fall walk,” recalled Donnelly, who has been the Rotary race director for the past seven years. “I said, ‘Let’s look at how we can combine our events.’
   “Now we’ve got this fun event and it’s turned into something big. This year we’re probably at 1,200 runners and 1,000 walkers,” Donnelly said.
   The race is expected to raise about $250,000, and the proceeds are divided in an equitable manner, organizers said.
   Wellness House counts on the community’s generosity, because the organization raises all of its money privately.
   “We don’t charge for any service and we receive no government money. We only have private funds,” Walker said.
   Proceeds underwrite programs such as the organization’s two fastest growing groups, Family Matters (for children whose parents or guardians are dealing with cancer or have died from cancer) and exercise and nutrition.
   Donnelly likes that Rotarians are involved in a cause close to home.
   “Here is a center and a concern right here in our own backyard,” added Donnelly, who pointed out that the group donates its proceeds locally, nationally and internationally.
   The race also has been a good way to get each organization’s name out in the community.
   “This morning I was in a meeting — there were 60 people there — I asked them to raise their hand if they had heard of the run. Not one person had not heard of it,” Walker said Wednesday. “It has infiltrated the community.”
   The day is big for everyone involved, whether as a helper, a participant or a visitor. It’s especially a good time for children, with plenty of kid-friendly activities after the race.
   “Seeing the hundreds of family, friends and community members out there walking, running, and having a great day — it’s the best feeling,” Walker said.

Run run as fast as you can
Join hundreds of other runners and walkers as they make their way through the village’s streets to raise money for Wellness House and the Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Rotary Club. The event will held Sunday, Oct. 14 — rain or shine.

Starting line
Wellness House
131 N. County Line Road, Hinsdale

Start times

The run
3K — 8:31 a.m.
5K — 8:30 a.m.
10K — 8:30 a.m.

The Walk*
5K — 8:35 a.m.
10-step — 8:29 a.m.

* The walk is for everyone, including families with strollers, young children and seniors. The 10-step walk is a symbolic gesture for those who can’t walk 5 kilometers.

Sign up
   Online registration is $25, but ends Friday, Oct. 12.
   Mail in and walk-up registration is $30. Mail to Rotary Run for Wellness, 131 N.  County Line Road, Hinsdale IL 60521. Envelopes be postmarked by Friday, Oct. 5.
   Walk-up registration is $30. Register from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, and from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, at The Wellness House, 131 N. County Line Road.

Pledges are encouraged. Create a pledge Web site for family and friends.
Need information? Go to or




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