Thursday, June 14, 2018 || By Elizabeth Abunaw || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Participants during the EJ Cancer Lupus Association of Proviso Township’s first annual 5K Run/Walk, held June 2 in Maywood. | Courtesy Amber Taylor
Community members from across Proviso Township and beyond gathered on June 2 at Miller Meadows in Maywood for the EJ Cancer Lupus Association of Proviso Township’s first annual 5K Run/Walk.
The family-focused event included a music from a DJ, food, vendors, beauty services a bouncy house for children and more than three miles of walking or jogging (or both) for participants.
Evelyn Craig-Wallace, the association’s current president, said that she founded the organization in 2017 in honor of her son, Erskine Boddy IV, and her mother, Janice Johnson, who passed away from cancer and lupus, respectively.
Organizers of the first annual event hope to grow it in the future. | Courtesy Amber Taylor
The event, held during a mild, overcast Saturday, was designed to raise funds for cancer and lupus patients as they undergo treatment.
“I tried to make it a fun event,” Craig-Wallace said on June 2. “People could bring their family out even if they didn’t race and learn about cancer and learn about lupus.”
She said that she hopes to raise enough money with various fundraising events to give out scholarships as well.
In the meantime, the walk/run was a time to both raise awareness about the diseases that affect many Americans, but also to reflect on the singular lives of the loved ones Craig-Wallace lost and whose memories she hopes to keep alive through her organization.
The 5K was designed to help raise funds for lupus and cancer patients undergoing treatment. | Courtesy Amber Taylor
“Erskine was an athlete,” Krystle Boddy, his widow and association vice president, said. “He ran track. A 5K was a way to honor his memory.”
The 5K was co-sponsored by Eternal Light Community Services, a Maywood nonprofit that offers programming for area young people. The nonprofit’s core services aligned well with the association’s mission, Craig-Wallace said.
“My mom and son loved families,” she added. “They loved activities. I tried to gear everything toward everything they enjoyed. They both loved the youth.”
The June 2 event was as much a family affair as it was a community one, with many of Craig-Wallace’s children and grandchildren participating. | Courtesy Amber Taylor
The 5K itself was more recreational than competitive, with runners and walkers enjoying a scenic course through the Forest Preserves. Darrell Jones of Maywood was the first runner to cross the finish line.
Vendors included independently owned local establishments such as Jamerica Catering, Johnny’s BBQ, Fiesta Truck, Leet Hair Extension and B Unique Beauty.
To learn more and donate to the EJ Cancer Lupus Association go to www.erskineivjanice.com. VFP
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