Race through Lake Forest in the largest Chicagoland event where both physically disabled and able-bodied athletes can compete side-by-side.
What: An annual family 5K race put on by the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA) that gives people with physical disabilities the opportunity to compete with non-disabled athletes and embrace the organization’s motto of “Let No One Sit on the Sidelines.” GLASA was awarded the Most Improved Fundraiser award last year in our 2012 Philanthropy Awards for this very event.
Where: Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest.
When: Saturday, Sept. 7, 5:15 p.m.
How: Register to run, walk or roll as an individual or team, or become an event sponsor through the race website.
The organization: GLASA, based in Lake Forest, promotes the development and well being for people with physical and visual disabilities through inclusive recreational and competitive sports activities, as well as empowerment through leadership and training in collaboration with other community organizations.
GLASA allows many physically disabled people to participate in activities they would have never thought possible. Ethan Burkhart, for example, never thought he would be able to play in team sports like his able-bodied siblings.
Born with Spina Bifida, this 11-year-old boy is unable to walk without arm crutches and foot braces.
“His desire to play sports is strong, but the ability to meet that need has always left a void in his life,” says Jennifer Burkhart, Ethan’s mother. “Finding out about GLASA filled that void and changed his life.”
Since joining GLASA, Ethan has been able to play on a sled hockey team and race on a bicycle during a previous Twilight Run. His mother says that the activities keep him focused and driven, and they improve his relationships with his peers at school as they develop new views of kids with disabilities.
She says she owes it all to Ethan’s coaches at GLASA.
“The coaches that run these programs are nothing short of miraculous,” Jennifer says. “Through sports, they instill the importance of teamwork, self-confidence and determination that these kids need in order to be successful contributors to society. They not only teach these kids that no one needs to sit on the sidelines in sports; but that no matter what, no one needs to sit on the sidelines in life.”
Make It Better is proud to be the title Media Sponsor of this event.
Photo: Burkart Family at the 5K Twilight Post-Race Party