5K walk, international food fest all part of Play for Peace

Play for Peace will host its third annual Walk for Peace and World Peace Day Celebration at the Bartlett Nature Center in James "Pate" Philip State Park on Saturday, Sept. 19. This family-friendly event coincides with celebrations around the world in honor of the United Nations' International Day of Peace.

"Every year on Sept. 21, the United Nations observes the International Day of Peace, which is dedicated to world peace, and calls for the absence of war and violence in all areas of the world. Unofficially, it's sometimes called World Peace Day," said Play for Peace executive director Sarah Gough. "Our World Peace Day Celebration is also celebrated globally within Play for Peace, in many of the countries where we have Play for Peace Clubs."

The local event is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and features the 5K walk, an international food festival, music, face painting, cooperative games and more. It also includes a silent auction and display booths hosted by community organizations. Walking trails are stroller and wheelchair accessible and dog-friendly.

"Last year, 200 adults, children, and community sponsors raised $37,000, which helped Play for Peace expand our programs in Chicago and in U-46 District Schools including Streamwood High School and Madison Elementary School in Lombard," said Gough. "Globally, we were able to expand into Nepal, South Sudan, and Pakistan. This year, we hope to raise $50,000 with the help of our walkers and sponsors."

Registration is now open. For a minimum donation of $25 for adults and $10 for children over age 2, registration includes a T-shirt and access to all activities. Walkers are encouraged to form teams, raise funds, and walk with their friends, families, schools and companies. The organization offers sponsorship opportunities for local companies, incentives for participating local schools, and recognition for top-fundraising teams.

To register or make a donation, visit

Funds raised through the Walk for Peace support 45 Play for Peace Clubs in 19 countries around the world. Play for Peace brings together children, youth and organizations in communities of conflict, using cooperative play to create laughter, compassion and peace.

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