FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
More Than 200 Athletes Will Participate In The
Bank Of America Chicago Marathon For Scc/Special Olympics Chicago
CHICAGO (September 20, 2010) - - In keeping with the Bank of America
Chicago Marathon's campaign, "10.10.10: The Date to Motivate," a team of
more than 200 dedicated athletes from across the United States have signed
on to participate in the Chicago Marathon, in an effort to raise funds for
SCC/Special Olympics Chicago.
Special Olympics Chicago has been a charitable partner of the Bank of
America Chicago Marathon since 2009. In that short period of time, Special
Olympics Chicago has catapulted to one of the top ten charities out of 125
participating non-profit organizations.
Following is a summary of some of the highly-motivated, inspiring athletes
who will be running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon for Special
Melanie O'Brien, Chicago, Illinois
Melanie O'Brien's roots to Special Olympics Chicago are deep. The O'Brien
family has been involved in Special Olympics since its inception in Chicago
in 1968, and has been integral to its success. Her brother, Kevin, who was
born in 1954 with special needs, was one of the first athletes to ever
participate in a Special Olympics event. Kevin still competes and
volunteers at Special Olympics events throughout the world. Melanie will be
running her first-ever Chicago Marathon in honor of her father, Martin, who
would have turned 100 this year. Her father fought tirelessly to see that
every individual is given the same opportunities, access to education, and
that no one is excluded or ignored by society based on their abilities.
James "Skinny" Sheahan, 64, Chicago, Illinois:
Sheahan, who is President of SCC/Special Olympics Chicago, will be running
is 38th Marathon this year. He is also included in the Marathon's
"10-10-10: The Date To Motivate:" campaign, with advertisements located
throughout the city and on major expressways.
Jeff and Nicole Gaspar, 40 & 33, respectively, Woodridge, Illinois:
For years, the Gaspar's were top fundraisers for the National Buddy Walk,
benefiting the National Down's Syndrome Society. This year, in honor of
Trevor, the Gaspar's will dedicate their fundraising efforts to Special
Olympics Chicago by running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. This
dedicated husband and wife duo have been married for 11 years and are the
parents of five children. Their middle child, Trevor, is nine-years old and
will be participating for the first-time ever as an athlete in Special
Olympics Chicago competitions and events beginning next year. While Nicole
has participated in numerous marathons, this will be the first for Jeff.
Dr. Casey Hogan, 40, Chicago, Illinois
Dr. Casey Hogan is a practicing optometrist with offices in Oak Lawn and on
South Michigan Avenue in the city. Hogan began running five years ago as a
way to reduce her stress level and improve her health. Hogan has served on
the board of Special Olympics Chicago for five years and is the current
secretary. She recently turned her 40th birthday party into a fundraising
event for her marathon run and is hosting an event at her Oak Lawn practice
on September 25 to continue her fundraising efforts.
Christopher Kenrick, 50, Chicago, Illinois
This is the second year Chris Kenrick will be running the Bank of America
Chicago Marathon. Last year, he ran the Chicago Marathon for Special
Olympics Chicago in honor of his 50th birthday and be involved in a
charitable cause. This year, he has recruited his son Bill, 19 of Grand
Haven, Michigan, and his brother Doug, 50, of Chicago to not only
participate in the Marathon, but also to run for Special Olympics Chicago.
Susan Lannon, 27, Chicago, Illinois/Naperville, Illinois
Susan Lannon is running her second Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and
for the first year she will be running for Special Olympics Chicago. She
became involved and interested in Special Olympics last year after
attending a competition in which her cousin David, 19, was participating as
an athlete. She was moved by how supportive all the athletes of Special
Olympics were of each other, regardless on which team they were playing.
Lannon also volunteers at Misericordia in her free time.
During the Marathon, Special Olympics Chicago will host a block party
cheering station at the Chicago Firehouse Restaurant, located at 1401 South
Michigan Avenue. Located on the home stretch of the race course, this
location will provide an ideal spot for people to cheer on the runners.
Athletes who have already registered for the Bank of America Chicago
Marathon can still join the Special Olympics Chicago team. Participants
running for charities will receive a refund on their race entry ($135
value) as a benefit. For more information on the benefits of running with
Special Olympics Chicago team, please visit
ABOUT SCC/SPECIAL OLYMPICS CHICAGO:
The Special Olympics Chicago program is the largest in the State of
Illinois. The Chicago Program alone is larger than 26 other complete State
programs. Chicago is the birthplace of Special Olympics and is now held in
over 150 countries, worldwide.
Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and competition in a
variety of Olympic type sports for children (ages 8 and older) and adults
with mental disabilities or closely related developmental disabilities. The
program gives them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness,
demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts,
skills and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes
and the community. In Chicago alone, more than 5,000 athletes are involved
in the program.
Since 1969, Special Children's Charities has been the fundraising
co-sponsor of Special Olympics Chicago, in partnership with the Chicago
Park District. Special Children's Charities mission statement is to
promote, foster and encourage physical and mental health and improvement
through athletics, recreational and social activities among youth and
adults with disabilities.
ABOUT BANK OF AMERICA CHICAGO MARATHON:
In its 33rd year and as a member of the World Marathon Majors, the 2010
Bank of America Chicago Marathon will start and finish in Chicago's Grant
Park beginning at 7:30 am on Sunday, October 10. In advance of the race, a
two-day Health and Fitness Expo will be held at McCormick Place October
8-9. Additional information on the race is available at chicagomarathon.com