WHEATON – Last year's Run for the STARS 5K race raised $44,000 to benefit more than 100 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
Proceeds provide recreation and training opportunities for program participants and respite for their families. Organizers hope to at least match what was raised in 2017 when the 15th annual Run for the STARS 5K race steps off at about 8 a.m. June 9.
Motorists should be aware several streets will be closed between 7:30 and 10 a.m. because of the race. A full list of the closures is on the city of Wheaton website, wheaton.il.us.
The event has proved to be a successful fundraiser, said Julie Clemens, director of Disability Ministries for College Church, which leads the STARS ministry. College Church officials refer to children and adults with intellectual disabilities as "STARS."
"Our numbers have held pretty steady," Clemens said. "It's met our need every year. It's helped send families to camp who couldn't otherwise afford it and helped support some people with intellectual disabilities with job coaches. We give a job grant to STARS Family Services, which is a sister organization that helps pay for job coaching. That grant is $25,000."
The STARS ministry serves about 140 individuals in the western suburbs, and it is open to everyone. Participants in the program do not need to attend College Church.
More than 400 runners have signed up for this year's race, and Clemens said she would love to see that number grow. Participants can register from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. the day of the race at College Church, 332 E. Seminary Ave., Wheaton.
"We'd love to have 600 to 700 [people]," Clemens said. "Last year, we had 560."
An awards ceremony and raffle prize drawings will take place from 9 to 10 a.m.
To participate in the 15th annual Run for the STARS 5K race or learn more, go to runforthestars.com.