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Sunny skies greet participants in 5K race

GENEVA – For Maggie Abbott of St. Charles, Saturday's mild temperatures were perfect running conditions for a 5K race.

"I worked up a little sweat," the 40 year-old said.

Abbott was one of about 375 people who participated in the third annual Hope For Haitians 5K Walk/Run For Education, which took place on the campus of the Kane County Government Center in Geneva. Since 2001, Hope for Haitians has worked to bring clean water, food, housing, education and medical services to Haiti, home to more than nine million people and considered to be the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

This is the third year Abbott has participated in the event. Her mother-in-law, Kathy Abbott, is a member of the committee that organizes the event.

"Last year, it was raining, but this year, the weather is perfect," Maggie Abbott said. "It's pretty much a family event. We saw a bunch of our neighbors that were also participating."

Event chairman Bill Clancy of Geneva attributed Saturday's good weather to the event attracting a record number of participants this year.

"We had 290 people last year, and about 200 people the first year," Clancy said. "We thought this would be a fun event that families could participate in."

Organizers were hoping to raise $25,000. Clancy said that 100 percent of what is raised will go to the group's mission.

Tom Lynch, 28, of Elgin, was participating in the event with eight other people. He finished the race just under 50 minutes.

"We kind of walked and jogged it," Lynch said. "I wanted to participate to give these young children the necessary things they need to get a leg up in the world."

This was the second year that Mike Ochs, 32, of Carpentersville, participated in the event.

"We've always tried to help the less fortunate," Ochs said. "This is a pretty easy way to do it."

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