DEERFIELD – A record number 500 runners hit the streets of Deerfield on Memorial Day for the 4th Annual Essence of Freedom 5K/10K Run. The event is the largest fundraiser for Support Our Soldiers Freedom, Inc. (S.O.S. Freedom), a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to Illinois active duty military and veterans.
“Thanks to the runners, sponsors and donors we raised over $15,000 for active duty and veterans who need financial support for with expenses that military benefits don’t cover such as housing modifications and maintenance, household bills, mental health care, and transition to civilian life” said Marilee Papale Shipman, race director and S.O.S. Freedom president.
“While the majority of runners were from the Midwest, we had registrants from the Southeast, East Coast and even as far away as Ecuador,” said Shipman. Runners ranged in age from seven to 84. Many became emotional and sentimental as they passed tribute signs that honored friends and loved ones. Scott Friedlander, Deerfield, was the first 5K runner to cross the finish line with a time of 16 minutes and 59 seconds. Jeff Mousseau, Wheaton, won the overall 10K race with a time of 43 minutes and 42 seconds. Race results can be viewed here.
Prior to the race start, Rep. Brad Schneider addressed the runners and spectators and incoming Stevenson High School freshman Emmie Ginsberg sang the National Anthem. “We are grateful to everyone who supported this event and helped us honor the true meaning of Memorial Day,” said Shipman. Sponsors included:
Four Star General Sponsor: Essence Pilates
Purple Heart Sponsors: American Legion Post 738, DLG Management, B. Robert Gassman & Associates, “My DJ” Sounds and Lights, RoadRunner Sports, Upper Crust Bagels, Vedder Price
Achievement Sponsors: Janelle Yeager Photography, Michael’s Chicago-Style Red Hots, Rolling Thunder, Inc., Organized Chaos Chicago
Distinguished Sponsors: Almost Home Foundation – Dog & Cat Rescue, Costco, The Dogout, Elements Massage, ENO, Highland Park Ford Lincoln, Hit 180 Fitness, Kona Grill, Lou Malnati’s, Mark Trachtenberg–Clover Insurance Agency, New Balance North Shore, Optimist Club of Deerfield, The Rosenthal Family, Sam’s Club, Sunset Foods, Two Brothers Brewing, Vineyard Vines
To learn more about SOS Freedom and support its efforts, go to sos-freedom.org.
The Essence of Freedom Run is the primary fundraising event for Support Our Soldiers Freedom, Inc., a 501(C) (3) nonprofit organization that supports Veterans and Active Duty Armed Forces members.