By Ben Feldheim, Orland Park-Mokena Editor
The “illuminate” in Orland Township’s Illumin8K has two meanings.
Participants in the eight kilometer walk/run will be wearing race shirts that actually glow in the dark. But also it’s to shed light on the complex and difficult aspects of suicide.
“It’s the idea that this is something that’s quiet,” said Gina Chigaros, Orland Township Youth Commission Coordinator. “People suffering with what leads to it do so in silence. When we started talking about causes that we feel no one talks about, it quickly became a focus.”
Orland Township’s Illumin8K benefits The Jason Foundation, the Catholic Charities Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide program and the Orland Township Scholarship Foundation.
The event takes place 7 p.m. Saturday starting at the Orland Township Administrative Offices at 14807 S. Ravinia Ave. in Orland Park. Participants will travel on several paths and streets around Orland Park, ending back at the starting point. Afterward, a party will be held sponsored by Rock Bottom Brewery with food and entertainment. Massages and water stations will also be available for the participants, as will Raffles and other goody bag prizes. The race is certified by U.S.A. Track and Field and chip timing will be on hand for participants.
People interested in running or walking are also encouraged to create teams. Prizes will be available to teams with the most members.
“The team goal is to gather people for this cause and be rewarded for doing so,” Chigaros said. “We just want to make it as wonderful as we can.”
The Illumin8K is certified by U.S.A. Track and Field, and chip timing will be available.