Published October 4, 2007
Living healthy. Giving back to your community. Touching
the lives of others.
This is what the Rotary Run for Wellness House means to Marianne
For 13 years Biedrzycki has encouraged her Community Consolidated
Elementary District 181 students to participate in the
race. During those years the race evolved from a
Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Rotary fun run to a fundraiser
for both the Rotary and Wellness House.
Last month the Oak School physical education teacher learned that
the trophy for the elementary school with the most
participants now is named for her, beginning with this
year’s run. The old unnamed trophy was retired at Oak
School, the immediate past winner, and the new Marianne
Biedrzycki Trophy was unveiled.
“Initially I felt it was a great way to culminate my fitness unit
and to participate in a community event,” Biedrzycki
said, who got involved when she was a PE teacher at
“It got bigger and bigger and the kids liked it,” she added. “To
this day we’re building teams and touching lives and
winning the trophy.”
The year Biedrzycki switched from teaching at Monroe to Oak, the
schools were neck and neck at the finish line, she said.
Oak won in the end.
“They were so close, like one or two kids, then there was a recount
and Oak won. I said, ‘Can you just give it to both?’ ”
she recalled. “I guess everyone counted.”
She paused when asked if she has special memories from the years of
“There are so many stories,” she said.
“One of my kids couldn’t do the run but did the 10-step walk with
grandpa. She still went, she was cheering on her
teammates and friends.
“We have a student who was a survivor of cancer and did the walk
her last year and that was so meaningful,” she
“Then Prospect students did it for a teacher with cancer.”
She is proud of one dad who puffed his way to the finish line last
year. Later she learned that it was his first run
Then there was the mom who ran with her daughter to support her
youngster, only to realize she was out of shape and
needed to start exercising.
Rotarian Greg Donnelly pointed out that Biedrzycki has been able to
motivate hundred and hundreds of kids to participate.
“Marianne has been a driving force in encouraging District 181
students to be active and physically fit. She has
motivated hundreds of students over the years to
participate in this event and then continue to be
physically fit throughout the year and throughout their
lives,” he said.
“She gets it and understands exactly what is going on. They are
learning to get fit — and give back.”