Friends Christine Kelly from Oak Lawn, Leslie Mindeman from Tinley Park and Karen Miotek from Palos Heights prepare to walk in the annual Mt. Greenwood 5K Walk/Run for the Special Recreation Association. Photo Credit: Mary A. Compton
Three friends huddled together on a beautiful September morning.
Leslie Mindeman from Tinley Park, Karen Miotek from Palos Heights, and Christine Kelly from Oak Lawn were about to walk in the 4th Annual Mt. Greenwood 5K Walk/Run on Saturday. They've been part of the Mt. Greenwood Special Recreation Association for years and, on this day, everyone was there to help support them—and a cause so close to their heart.
The genesis for the walk/run began more than four years ago when Kevin Nolan wanted to help a local organization raise money to continue programs.
"My friends and I chose this program because we saw a need," Nolan said. "I grew up in this neighborhood. I've always seen the program and the great way they handle adults and children with special needs in the community."
The association provides a variety of classes, sports, activities, camps and other opportunities such as the Special Olympics for adults and children with special needs.
As participants gathered for the 5K run, Tom Creedon from Mt. Greenwood and friends from Southside Knockout were happy to lend their support.
"My friends and I are running for the Special Rec. We jumped on board to help," Creedon said. "It's also another reason to enjoy a nice day, get some exercise and train for boxing. My goal is to finish the 5K and not to look like a fool in front of my friends."
Nolan didn't have to worry about that. "I run the organization...I don't run the race."