The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." Nothing could be more true when it comes to treating childhood cancer.
On September 23 in Oak Lawn, hundreds of those first steps helped launch the first-ever Running with the Bulldogs 5K Walk and Run event to benefit the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation.
The ground-breaking, ground-pounding event was conceived, organized, implemented and coordinated by Richards High School Boys Cross Country Coach Bob Peck, who saw an opportunity to help young cancer patients while providing a big-race atmosphere that would challenge the athletic skills and endurance of local residents of all ages. Peck's meticulous planning helped draw the enthusiastic participation of more than 550 seasoned and new runners and walkers ranging in age from nine to 72 years old. Participants encountered mile markers with water stations along the route, and the results were based on chip timing, ensuring the highest accuracy for determining medal winners. And after the last participant had crossed the finish line, an impressive $10,800 had been raised to benefit the Treasure Chest Foundation and ultimately the brave children and teens battling cancer.
The opportunity to help children in the midst of the fight of their lives appealed to the innovative and tireless Peck, who called the Treasure Chest Foundation "a charity unlike any I've seen." In explaining his motivation for creating the popular event, Peck said, "I just wanted to give back to people who deserved to be helped. I had a great upbringing. This was for someone else who needed it more than I did. With the incentive of the toys and gift cards provided by the Foundation, young cancer patients have a light at the end of the tunnel after their chemotherapy or other treatments. The parents of these children are also eternally grateful for the kind gestures of this great charity."
Bob Peck, coach of the Richards High School Boys Cross Country team and organizer of the Running with the Bulldogs 5K Walk and Run event, proudly displays a check for $10,800 which will benefit the Treasure Chest Foundation and young cancer patients.
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