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On Sunday, May 5, VABC celebrated the Inaugural Join the Voices! Chicago Run/Walk. Nearly 1,000 Chicago area residents participated, raising more than $160,000 and surpassing expectations on every front. On an unexpectedly sunny and warm Spring day, runners and walkers wound their way around a 5K course in Lincoln Park that offered glimpses of glittering Lake Michigan, several of the Park’s public art installations and memorials, duck ponds and meadows, ending at a family fun festival and awards ceremony where extraordinary doctors, nurses, caregivers and youth ambassadors were awarded medals for their care and brain tumor patients were honored for their extraordinary courage in the face of cancer.
One honoree, Alec Panici, stopped to take it in. “I can’t believe how many people turned out,” he said. His team, “Dig Panici”, numbered more than 100 members and arrived at the Run/Walk in matching purple t-shirts. “Dig Panici” raised more than $10,500 in memory of Alec’s sister, Lisa Panici, who passed away in December at the age of 20. Alec, 24, who withdrew temporarily from college to help take care of his sister, was given the “Compassionate Caregiver” Award. “Not that I ever expected any recognition” he said, “but it’s very nice to be honored at an event like this. I already can’t wait for next year.”
And neither can we! We encourage Chicago area residents to get involved by joining the planning committee, sponsoring the event or forming a team. Call 212-340-1340 for more details.
Click here to see photos from the event.