Fundraising runners for Team Marklund participating in the Chicago Marathon this weekend got a warmhearted send-off Thursday from 104 residents and community clients at Marklund Hyde Center in Geneva.
Marklund employees Jessica Smart of Long Grove and Colette Dragoo of Elburn are running in the marathon for the fifth time and raising funds for Marklund, which cares for profoundly disabled people. The event also was the ceremonial kick off for Marklund's first 5K/1 mile run on Oct. 27.
An entourage of Marklund employees, residents and clients bolted out of the building and broke through a paper banner decorated with, "Run Walk and Roll for Marklund."
Dragoo, a developmental instructor, said, "I'm super excited to be part of Team Marklund and keep it alive. We have a really good mission here and we have amazing people that we're sponsoring so I'm super stoked to be able to say I'm to be out there running for them."
She's been encouraging the clients to watch the marathon on TV, telling them they might be able to see her and Smart running.
Smart, the director of adult services at Marklund, said the race provides a melding of something she loves to do while benefiting Marklund, "which is why I continue to do it."
Heather Graves, chief development officer for Marklund, said the group's 5K seemed like a natural thing to do.
"We really just wanted to find a way to involve the community, our families, our clients in an event for Marklund."
To register for it, go to marklund.org/5k. To make a donation to the Chicago Marathon fundraiser on behalf of the Marklund, go to marklund.org and designate the funds to Team Marklund.