By Lisa Knych
Charles Stoops, dean of the Graduate School of Social Work, is running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon for his fifth consecutive year.
Stoops ran for several years before deciding to train for his first marathon. While finishing his Ph.D., a friend asked if he would run a marathon with him and Stoops agreed.
Shortly after agreeing to run, Stoops went to a sports medicine doctor and told him, “I am here for you to tell me I shouldn’t do it.” The doctor explained that he does not tell people not to run unless they have a serious injury or a major health condition. The doctor then disclosed that he was the medical director of the marathon.
Stoops began training for the marathon five years ago by running two blocks and walking one. He then decided, “If I am going to do all this work, I might as well turn it into something that is for something else.” Stoops then started the Chicago-based organization Center for Advancing Domestic Peace, Inc. (CADP). This organization works with domestic violence offenders who are there primarily on court ordered mandates.
Stoops asked CADP to use the marathon as a fundraising campaign for domestic violence awareness. Nine other organizations committed to raise support alongside CADP, including Connections for Abused Women and their Children, Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network and Arab American Family Services.
Last year, Stoops ran by himself and raised less than $5,000; this year there are over 25 runners, including Stoops’ “running buddy,” journalism professor John
Jenks. This year, the goal is to raise $80,000. Currently, they are over half way to this goal.
“The last few weeks of the fundraiser are when people really start to donate,” Stoops said, “and since the race is part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we tell people they can donate all the way until the end of the month.” CADP is now an official charity of the marathon.
Last year, president Donna Carroll became personally involved with CADP and challenged Dominican University students, faculty and staff to raise funds. They raised over $6,000; this year, Donna personally donated $1,000 to the organization.
The race is set for Oct. 12.
If you would like to donate to the cause, please go to http://www.rundvoutoftown.org.