Lemons of Love will hold its second Pink Lemonade 5K Run/Walk Sunday, Oct. 2, at Lions Park, Lincoln and Maple streets, in Mount Prospect.
Runners, walkers and supporters are invited to enjoy the morning's events while raising funds to help Lemons of Love create cheerful, lemon-themed care packages that promote peace and healing for those fighting cancer. The packages are delivered to local hospitals and sent to cancer patients nationwide.
"We've surpassed our goal of delivering 3,500 chemo care packages and are well on the way to reaching 4,000 by the end of 2016. The Pink Lemonade Run/Walk will help us get there," says Jill Swanson Peltier, a cancer fighter and owner of Fresh Air Systems Technologies in Des Plaines. Peltier was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer and went through chemotherapy two years ago. The experience made her realize that no one should feel alone while enduring chemo, and she was inspired to create Lemons of Love, based on a simple idea: "When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade."
However, Peltier has put a modern twist on it and now says, "When life gives you lemons, laugh out loud (LOL)."
This year's Pink Lemonade Run/Walk, also known as The Second Squeeze, is being presented by Rauland-Borg of Mount Prospect, the event's Title Sponsor. The Run/Walk will be from 9 a.m. to noon, with registration opening at 8 a.m. and races stepping off at 9 a.m. Participants can register at www.lemonsoflove.org. The cost for those registering in advance is $40 for adults, $30 for teens and $20 for "Little Lemons" with a registered adult. Race-day registration is $50, $40 and $25, respectively (cash or check only on race day).
Participants will receive a shirt and Lemon Swag Bag. Sponsor Safari Childcare will host an art table for children to create happy pictures that will become part of Lemons of Love care packages, as well as run a host of games and activities for all to enjoy.
Peltier says she is thankful to Lemons of Love's devoted network of supporters and volunteers, who have helped the organization grow and greatly expand outreach to cancer patients over the past two years. She especially thanks the Pink Lemonade Title Sponsor, Rauland-Borg, as well as many other generous sponsors, including, but not limited to, European Jewelry, Zurich Insurance, Zeigler Chevrolet and Bosch.
Lemons of Love was founded in 2014, as Peltier was recovering from her own illness. She came up with the idea for lemon-themed care packages filled with products that helped her heal and brought her comfort, such as lotion (for chemo dry skin), lemon drops (for the metallic taste), dark chocolate (for antioxidants and heart-healthy fats), organic ginger tea (for upset stomachs), superhero socks, a water bottle, lip balm, a happy picture drawn by a child and other special items that are donated by supporters.
Peltier and a pit crew of helpers deliver the packages to regional hospitals. Loved ones can have a bag sent to a friend or family member by making a donation at www.lemonsoflove.org.