Great Strides is an event hosted by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to raise money for research for a cure for CF. I have participated in Great Strides in Chicago with my family and friends since I can remember. We've had quite a range of weather and experiences, including me and each of my siblings getting hit by crazy bikers along the path, losing cousins on the path, and freezing weather! But every year, my family, and now some of my friends stick it out to help raise awareness and money for the CF Foundation. About 4 years ago, my first year of college, I created my own team: Colleen's Friends & Family (CFF) and started recruiting my friends to the walks, too. Ever since then, each year I try to recruit more and more people. The past couple years, I've reached out to my in-laws, who have been extremely supportive and generous, too!
This year, Great Strides is expanding out to DeKalb!! I feel like it's part of my responsibility to get this walk to be successful because it's a new site and because it's where I live and went to school. I joined the DeKalb Great Strides committee to help get the walk going, and so far, I think it's going pretty well. Our goal is to get 25 teams to register and for each team to raise $1,000 = $25,000. So far, there are about 5 or 6 teams registered, so we've got some more recruiting to do, but we're trying! It will help having all of the students from NIU still at school, and I have a few friends trying to get their organizations or sororities involved. Also, since I'm working in the school district in DeKalb, I wanted to get them involved. Ideally, I wanted to get the entire district involved, but it looks like this year, it's just going to start out at the school I'm working at. Next week at school, we're doing Penny Wars during spirit week. We're having spirit week for the high school basketball game, so we thought it would be a good time to add a fundraiser since the students were already excited about the different days of spirit week. During Penny Wars, each class collects pennies in a bin for their class, but they can also bring in silver coins deduct from other class's totals. Last year our school did it to raise money for something else, and raise about $1,000! The kids really get into it and it's lots of fun. I'm excited to see how it turns out!
If you'd like to be a part of Great Strides this year, please go to www.cff.org/greatstrides. You can join my team, create your own team, or just walk for fun. Registration is free, so please register online if you're planning on coming. I'm hoping to still walk in Chicago in May, since I've walked at that one for so long, and maybe go to one other walk somewhere this year-just to see how they are different in other locations. There are tons of walks all over the country, so if you can't come out to the DeKalb one (April 9th), I'm sure you could find one near you. Come join the fun and raise awareness and money for a wonderful organization! :-)