Thursday, May 14, 2009

8th annual literacy run in memory of Jeanine

8th annual literacy run in memory of Jeanine.(News)
Article from:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) Article date:May 14, 2009More results for:jeanine nicarico Literacy

Byline: Christy Gutowski

The brown-eyed, dimpled girl died tragically 26 years ago, but a memorial fund her family created to help future generations read and write still flourishes.

The 8th annual Jeanine Nicarico Run/Walk for Reading is planned Sunday in Naperville.

Her parents, Tom and Pat, and their daughters, Chris and Kathy, set up the literacy fund more than a decade ago in honor of the 10-year-old girl who was murdered Feb. 25, 1983.

To date, it has doled out more than $100,000 in grants to public and private schools in Naperville Unit District 203 and Indian Prairie Unit District 204 to help students, similar to Jeanine, overcome literacy challenges.

"They are such a great example of people who have taken a challenge in life and turned it into something that helps other people," said Mary Bazan, race director.

"They are consistent in their commitment to the fund, which is a year-round undertaking."

Participants in the 5K Run for Reading will step off at 7:30 a.m. Sunday at River Woods Elementary School, 2607 River Woods Drive, Naperville. The 3.1-mile course is USA Track and Field certified and winds through the River Woods, Farmington and Walnut Ridge neighborhoods.

This yearAEs event is especially poignant, as participants will observe a moment of silence and don memorial stickers for Laura Peterson, River Woods principal, who died Sunday at age 60 after battling cancer.

The race typically draws about 425 walkers and runners of all ages from across the suburbs. Dozens of local businesses and volunteers donate their time, money, wares and services to make the event a continued success, raising about $20,000 annually.

"The grants awarded give students of all ages, in the area, an opportunity to be provided with enriched experiences of reading and writing to inspire them to continue to be lifelong learners," said Chris Roy, one of JeanineAEs sisters. "It also allows a little of Jeanine to spread throughout our future generations to continue to live on with us."

Participants may sign up one hour before the Sunday event or 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the school, or visit Cost is $25.

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