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Countryside Cares for GiGi's Playhouse at annual race

Published: Monday, May 5, 2014 3:01 p.m. CDT
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Countryside School students and adults ran the fourth annual Countryside Cares 5k and one-mile fun run May 2. Proceeds benefited GiGi's Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers.
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Top finishers for the Countryside Cares 5k race and one-mile fun run included (front row, from left) Hanna Faulkner, Jake Terrill, Jennifer Devona, Ella VanNess (back row, from left) James Lyon, Andy Nettis, Lukas VanNess, Jason VanNess, Julia Gwozdz and Nicole Gorges. Other top-place contestants were Jennifer Devona, Marko Hennin, Nicole Koviak, Lindsay Anastascio and Jim Bresch.
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Countryside School fifth-grader Jessica Gianopulos participated in the Countryside Cares races May 2. Born with Down syndrome, Gianopulos has advocated for GiGi's Playhouse with fellow students by citing the everyday activities she enjoys as much as her peers.
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More than $3,300 was raised at the Countryside Cares 5k race and one-mile fun run event May 2. Students hit the ground running to help a local cause – GiGi's Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers. This was the fourth year for the event.
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Countryside School elementary students raced toward the finish line at the fourth annual Countryside Cares 5k race and one-mile fun run May 2. About 140 students and adults participated.
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A third through fifth-grade volunteer group, Countryside Cares, organized a fourth annual 5k race and one-mile fun run fundraiser to be held at Countryside School May 2. Proceeds went to GiGi's Playhouse to fund achievement programs for children and adults who are born with Down syndrome.

BARRINGTON – Countryside Cares, a third through fifth-grade volunteer group, hosted its annual 5k race and one-mile fun run at Countryside School, 205 West County Line Road in Barrington, Friday. GiGi's Playhouse was chosen to be the beneficiary non-profit organization.

Barrington 220 Educational Foundation member Kelly Henry said the event was a great success with about 140 participants. More than $3,300 was raised for GiGi's Playhouse which offers free support to children and adults with Down Syndrome in addition to providing free services for family members. This was the fourth year of the Countryside race, according to Henry.

Awards were broken down by gender. One-mile fun run winners were students Julia Gwozdz and Jake Terrill. Students who placed in the 5k race were Jennifer Devona and James Lyon, first; Ella VanNess and Lukas VanNess, second; and Hanna Faulkner and Marko Hennin, third.

Adults were also invited. Adults who placed in the 5k race were Nicole Koviak and Jason VanNess, first; Nicole Gorges and Andy Nettis, second; and Lindsay Anastascio and Jim Bresch, third.

Visit www.gigisplayhouse.org for information.

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