Racing for hope

Racing for hope

It's a costume party!

It's a family reunion!

It's a party in the park!

Yes, the 3rd Annual Be a Hero 5K was all that and more! There's just something magical when participants of all ages gather and race for hope in support of an important cause: the critical needs of the 846 youth and families Cunningham serves! We are proud to announce this year's net proceeds, a new high, are:


When Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo, the race's female top finisher at 22:40.83, received her award, she said, "I run a lot of races all over the country and this is one of the best. It's the LA Marathon followed by this one [the Be a Hero 5K]!
Justin Seno, the 5K's overall winner, earned a personal record with a time of 18:53.41. He told our dj, Stacy, it was his hero cape that made him faster!

What a force!

Team captains Reverend Sheryl Palmer (Champaign Faith UMC), Reverend Julia Melgreen (Champaign First UMC) and Reverend Lori Harvey (Mahomet UMC) used their super powers for the second straight year to make an impact! Their Super Hero Teams, along with Team PIXO, Team Normal First UMC and Team Pi Lambda Chi Latina Sorority, Inc., raised $4,820! In all, we had 29 very enthusiastic and committed individual Superheroes for this year's race. 

Jump around! 

Justin wasn't the only participant who set a record! Super, super, superhero 5K supporter Martha "Super Squirrel" McSims led the way as she raised a record $2,575! She ran the race in her squirrel costume once again but this time she raced while jumping rope—another creative way she was able to get more people to support her! If her enthusiasm for Cunningham and the Be a Hero 5K isn't magical, we don't know what it!

The power of family! 

"When I brought up the 5K opportunity at a family gathering, it was an immediate yes from my family who wanted to support a great organization," Cat Nickrent said. "It was a wonderful family fun event that included participants from my family from 6 years to 86 years old. It was so much fun, and we are already looking forward to next year’s race!"






Strength in numbers! 

Even heroes need help and close to 100 volunteers showed up in full force to support this year’s Be a Hero 5k. From helping answer questions at packet pick-up to setting out course signage along the route, help began even before the race. We saw so many amazing individuals who supported runners as course monitors, at check-in, the water station, and cheering runners/walkers along the route. The sounds of encouragement grew even louder as volunteer groups like Alpha Pi Omega, Pi Lambda Chi, Undergraduate Psychology Association, UIUC Office of Civic Life, and American Medical Women’s Association came together to encourage others as part of larger cheer crews and kept the park clean by helping with race clean-up.


Strong values! 

It’s really important to instill a heart of giving in your children and teach them that it is better to give than to receive. We are blessed with an amazing community that gets that! So many wonderful families with sweet young children participated. They dressed up, they ran, they walked and they smiled while doing it! That certainly filled our hearts!







Super Sponsors

Not only do our generous Hero Sponsors provide financial support for the 5K, many also participate in the day's events, like our dj Stacy, from LaCour Homes, and State Farm Insurance Agent Anna Schappaugh, both pictured here.
We are so thankful for our sponsors who help make our vision to see every child thrive possible!
Please be sure to support their businesses when you can.