Published on Monday, 13 June 2011 17:34
This Thursday, June 16th, will be an annual 5K run and 3K walk done in the name of former WLS-TV investigative reporter and news anchor Jim Gibbons. "The 17th Annual ABC 7 Jim Gibbons 5K Traffic Jam" will be taking place this year at Chicago's Lincoln Park. Proceeds from the yearly event will go to benefit the Jim Gibbons Memorial Chapter of the Leukemia Research Foundation.
Jim Gibbons, who had been an Emmy and Lisagor award-winning reporter and anchor with WLS-TV starting in 1969, passed away at the age of 55 in February 1994 due to complications from leukemia. This race has been run each spring in his honor since then. The event raises needed funds to help the more than 800,000 Americans living with various blood cancers, and especially the over 5,000 Illinois residents who will be diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma or myelodysplastic syndromes this year. Along with using the proceeds to help find cures, money raised from the event will also go toward enriching the lives of families coping with the challenges that are part of living with blood cancers, by offering financial aid, information and services the families desperately need.
This year, the location changes from Grant Park, where it was held the last few years, to scenic Lincoln Park. The runners and walkers will begin from the park near Lake Shore Drive and LaSalle Drive, head north alongside the Lincoln Park rowing lagoon, up to Diversey Harbor, down past the Lincoln Park Zoo and back to the Lincoln Park softball fields. The meeting location is 1800 N. Stockton Drive. Registration and gear check opens at 4:30pm, with the race itself kicking off at 6:25.
Individual and team registration is available. The registration fee is $35 online* and $40 onsite the afternoon of June 16. Children ages 6-14 can be registered for $15. (*Online registration must be done before Midnight tomorrow.)
Cash awards will be given to the top three male and top three female runners. There are also numerous prizes for top fundraisers.
The Leukemia Research Foundation is inviting all blood cancer survivors to take part in the "ABC 7 Jim Gibbons 5K Traffic Jam" on Thursday. Survivors will be openly recognized for their struggle. Survivors will be asked to lead the walk portion of the event. There will also be special event green T-shirts designated specifically for the blood cancer survivors to wear on the day of the event, if they so choose.
Immediately following the race, a post-race party with live music from Chicago cover band Daily Special will be held at the site. There will be food, beer and other beverages available for purchase at the post-party.
Among the sponsors for this event are media outlets WLS-TV, WKSC-FM/Kiss FM and Time Out Chicago Magazine. WKSC-FM will be broadcasting live from the event starting at 4:00pm.
As they do each year to honor their former co-worker Gibbons, WLS-TV's Frank Mathie and Janet Davies will co-chair and host this event. Both worked with Jim Gibbons for many years here in Chicago. Mathie has been a feature reporter with WLS-TV since 1967, while Davies has been an entertainment reporter with WLS-TV since 1984.
The start of the race will air live on WLS-TV near the end of the 6:00pm newscast, with Mathie & Davies speaking to participants and delivering commentary on the air.
For more information about "The 17th Annual ABC 7 Jim Gibbons 5K Traffic Jam," visit 5KTrafficJam.com
Earlier this year, the family of the late Jim Gibbons formally created the Jim Gibbons Memorial Chapter to further strengthen the bond they have with the Leukemia Research Foundation. The Leukemia Research Foundation is headquartered in near north suburban Wilmette. For more information about the LRF, visit this link HERE