A day-long rain stopped just long enough for hundreds of blood cancer survivors and patients, along with other runners, walkers, volunteers and supporters to take the fight to find a cure to Chicago’s Grant Park on Thursday, June 21 for the 24th Annual ABC 7 Gibbons 5K Run and 3K Walk Presented by Wintrust Financial, a major fundraiser benefiting the Northfield, Ill.-based Leukemia Research Foundation (LRF). The event generated $100,000 to fund critical blood cancer research around the world and support patients and families living with a leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, or myelodysplastic syndromes diagnosis.
|Gibbons 5K Run start|
(L to R) ABC 7’s Dionne Miller, Francesca Sikorski, Owen Rennich, Roger Pinon, Ryan Gooding, Vanessa Righeimer,
The run start was broadcast live on ABC 7 Chicago during the 6:00 p.m. news and ABC 7’s Janet Davies and Dionne Miller were the starters and Honorary Co-Chairs of the event.
Medals were presented to the top three male and female overall runners, as well as the top three males in females in age group categories.
5K winners are as follows.
First Place: Roger Pinon, Chicago
Second Place: Ryan Gooding, Chicago
Third Place: Owen Rennich, Ann Arbor, Michigan
First Place: Vanessa Righeimer, Chicago
Second Place: Francesca Sikorski, Shorewood, Illinois
Third Place: Erika Oslakovic, Chicago
Medals also were awarded to the top three finishers, male and female, in each five-year age bracket from 14 years and under through 75 years and older. Complete run results can be found on the Gibbons 5K Results Page.
After the run/walk, participants enjoyed food and drinks, a Kids Tent full of arts, crafts and activities, and entertainment provided by DJ Dan Luna. Blood cancer survivors and others met in the Heroes of Hope Tent to meet others impacted by blood cancers and take photos and enjoy refreshments. The Icla deSilva Foundation provided an opportunity for people to join the bone marrow registry and to meet former Chicago Bear Desmond Clark. LRF. Over the years about half a dozen event participants were matches for patients in need of a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.
Fundraising continues for the event. People and teams currently running fundraising pages have until July 13 to collect pledges and qualify for prizes. Those who would like to make a general donation to the cause or support a team or an individual fundraiser can do so here.
The ABC 7 Gibbons 5K Run and 3K Walk, Presented by Wintrust Financial was sponsored by ABC 7 Chicago, Wintrust Financial, AbbVie, Astellas, Blue Plate Catering, Celgene, Crunchmaster, Fleet Feet Sports, Genentech, Gonella, Hallmark & Johnson Property Management, Ltd., Illinois Bone & Joint Institute, Revolution Brewing, and WDRV The Drive Chicago.
The event was created to honor the memory of Jim Gibbons, a 25-year veteran investigative reporter for ABC 7 who succumbed to leukemia in 1994.
To learn more about and donate to the LRF, click here.