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Sycamore School District 427 staff hold benefit run for Boston Marathon bombing victims

Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
(Submitted photo)
Sycamore School District 427 employees Tosha Ratliff (far left, yellow shirt; head down), Karla Gulke (middle), Kris Tilton (right), hand out shirts to participants in the solidarity run for the Boston Marathon bombing victims on Monday at a park near North Elementary School.

SYCAMORE – The bombings at the Boston Marathon made Travis Flewelling eager to run the race in the future to show support for the victims.

“I’m putting that on my bucket list,” said Flewelling, school psychologist for Sycamore Community School District 427.

Flewelling, along with several other Sycamore school district employees, held their own race to support the families of the three people who were killed and 264 who were injured in the bombing near the finish line of marathon April 15.

They hosted a two-mile solidarity run for the Boston Marathon bombing victims. The run was held Monday near North Elementary School at 1680 Brickville Road.

The run raised $2,840 that will be donated to The One Fund Boston, Inc., a fund created to support the families of the Boston Marathon bombing victims, according to onefundboston.org. As of Tuesday, The One Fund Boston had raised more than $29 million, according to the website.

Special education teacher Kristy Ricker said she couldn’t take her eyes off the TV when the bombings happened. She said the incident felt like it hit home for people in the running community like herself.

“You start asking yourself, ‘How does this happen?’ “ Ricker said.

Several days afterward, Flewelling, Ricker and a few other colleagues from the school district decided to host a run of their own after reading online about other people organizing races in support of the victims.

At first, they were planning on a small race, but then sought out more involvement and participation from coworkers at the school district, including Kathy Countryman, District 427 superintendent. Flewelling said they received more responses than they thought they would.

Priority Promotions, 337 E. State Sycamore St., donated shirts for the race, Ricker said. The shirts were sold to participants for $20. Ricker said about 125 shirts were sold. Some of the people who went to race bought a shirt but didn’t run, Ricker said.

“It was a great turnout,” Ricker said. “... It was awesome.”

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