Scarecrow Scramble 5K Mixes Strengths of Two Nonprofit Organizations
Byline: Joan Broz
Here's a reliable recipe for creating a successful event: Mix a brew of cooperation, spice it up with a few unique features and then combine the efforts of dozens of dedicated volunteers.
That, at least, is the hope of organizers of Saturday's inaugural Scarecrow Scramble 5K run/walk in Lisle's Community Park.
"We want the Scarecrow Scramble to be a fun, family-oriented run and walk with a difference," race director Kim Brondyke said.
The new race is sponsored by Partners for Parks and the Lisle Community Character Alliance.
Representatives from both groups have met twice a month since January to prepare for the fund-raising event, and the meetings have become more frequent as the race date draws near.
It's no simple task to coordinate an event of this size and build a foundation for future events, but organizers say the committee has benefited from the diverse strengths of its members.
The two groups joined forces because Partners for Parks had a date open on the park district's calendar and Character Counts had willing volunteers. Both are nonprofit volunteer organizations that will split the proceeds.
Partners for Parks will use its half of the money to enrich park programs and services to Lisle residents. The group focuses on providing scholarships for families who are not able to afford recreation programs, said Lisa Leone, park district liaison to the Scramble committee.
The Lisle Character Counts Alliance, the official name for the local Character Counts program, works to encourage and advocate the use of six pillars of character in the community. They are trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
In November, the group will confer Pillar Awards to businesses, organizations and people nominated for doing good deeds.
Early in the planning stages, the thought of having a 10K race with accomplished runners was ruled out in favor of the Halloween- themed family run/walk event. The date also coincides with National Character Counts week.
"We decided to have the event in the fall and tie it to Halloween because it's a beautiful time of year for a run around the park," said Mike Shuta, co-owner of Arbor Printing in Lisle and a committee member.
With a theme established, planners decided on a name and developed a logo. For the event's debut, a catchy and visual choice was important. Featuring a scarecrow was almost a given since pumpkins can't run and an affable scarecrow could.
The logo incorporates a grinning, friendly-sort of scarecrow running in a wide stride atop the race's name. Park district information services coordinator, Jessica Alexenko, designed the logo and included a crescent moon with a few stars to indicate the race's unique evening time slot. …