Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Why I'm running the marathon for Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection

If you read this blog, you of course know that I am running in the Chicago Marathon for Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection on Sunday October 11th. The reasons for running the marathon were two-fold: 1) I decided that 2009 was the year I was going to get in shape and while I was always a casual runner who enjoyed running, I had gotten out of shape and decided that making it my goal to run the Chicago Marathon in October and get in shape was my New Year's Resolution for 2009. 2) I knew that 2009 was going to be a tough year for non-profits and I thought that my running in the Chicago Marathon to raise money for Cabrini Connections could come at no better time. So, my boyfriend Nick Infusino, who has been an incredible fundraiser himself, and I signed up for the Chicago marathon and have so far raised $2623.40 for Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection.

However, there is a third reason and unfortunately it's been reinforced by recent events such as the beating of an honor student at Fenger High School which simply show us how important tutoring and mentoring programs are - now more than ever. In today's Chicago Tribune, Mary Schmich, who has written about tutoring and mentoring programs in the past, including our own, interviews Diane Latiker who is the founder and executive director of Kids off the Block in Roseland, the same neighborhood as Fenger High School. Unfortunately Kids off the Block is one of the few programs in Roseland, and we need many more people like Diane Latiker to step up and help kids have a safe place to go after school and where kids can have the resources to succeed in school and in life.

This is the purpose of the Tutor/Mentor Connection, to support individuals such as Diane Latiker who have gone above and beyond to help kids, but also to support individuals who take it upon themselves to start new mentoring programs. Tonight I will be speaking at a training for a new mentoring program for the Chicago Public Schools Summerquest Program and supporting the new tutors and staff memebers in starting a new program.

So what can you do to help stope the violence? There are two pretty easy things you can do. Number one, do what Diane Latiker says to do in the article:
"Volunteer," she said. "Find out who you can help. We need all the help we can get."

The other is to donate. You can donate to helping all of the tutoring and mentoring programs in Chicago by donating to my marathon fundraising for Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection by visiting:
On Sunday I will be running 26.2 mile for the kids in Chicago. What will you be doing to stop the violence?

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