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6th Annual Meet

MISSION STATEMENT

The Community Fun and Fitness Relays (CFFR) has three key aims:

  • To bring families and individuals of all ages, races, backgrounds, and skill levels in the Southern Illinois region together in the great outdoors to enjoy a sport that is readily accessible to all;

  • To give participants a reason to get into (or stay in) shape and challenge themselves to set and achieve health and fitness goals;

  • To raise money for local and international non-profit organizations that serve youth and aim to grow them to become future leaders with global consciences and hearts for service.

SPONSORS

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Carbondale Park
District

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Southern Illinois
Healthcare

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Carbondale Community
High School

INDIVIDUAL DONORS

Ms. Janet Boczek

Dr. John & Mrs. Nancy Jackson 

Ms. Cheryl Osei

Dr. Rollin Perkins

Mr. Andrew & Mrs. Maame Marinacci

Drs. Tony & Arlene Miksanek

Ms. Wenona Whitfield



 

 

Interested in becoming a CFFR sponsor or donor?!

 

Contact: gocffr@gmail.com

2024 CFFR Recap

The 6th Annual Community Fun & Fitness Relays (CFFR), held Sunday, May 5th, 2024, were blessed with good weather, great volunteers and enthusiastic competitors and spectators! Again, we were hosted by Carbondale Community Community High School (CCHS) at their Track & Field Complex. CCHS staffers Gwen Poore and Olivia Clark-Kittleson were instrumental in making sure our participants and spectators had a great experience. Additionally, students and staff from the CCHS Track and Field team volunteered well, along with a number of other steadfast volunteers who helped make it a great experience for all. 

Our other major sponsors, in addition to CCHS, included the Carbondale Park District (CPD) and Southern Illinois Health (SIH).  CPD provided volunteers, water coolers, CPR/AED coverage as well as insurance coverage for the event.  SIH support helped us purchase supplies needed for the meet.  These major sponsors made it possible for us to put on a first-class event for our community participants and make significant donations to our charities. We also had several very generous individual donors this year, which will allow us to provide even more assistance to our beneficiaries. 

Again, one of our two beneficiaries this year is NubAbility, a DuQuoin-based organization that provides athletic opportunities for limb-different youngsters from all over the country to work with limb-different coaches in a variety of sports. Julie Grosse, the Business Director for NubAbility, was on hand on Race Day to help with registration and provide goodie bags for participants among other duties. NubAbility Founder Sam Kuhnert also joined us to cheer on participants on Race Day. Our other beneficiary this year is Beacon House in Ghana, which helps children and families who are in need. The non-profit organization has been working diligently to construct a K-12 school in Ghana to educate and provide scholarships for underprivileged youth there whose future prospects would otherwise be bleak.  

Last year, we added a Senior 4 x 100 relay and a senior mile walk, which again saw good participation this year. This year, we introduced Senior divisions in the shot put, long jump, and 100-meter dash, in which we anticipate greater participation at next year’s CFFR.

Race results and photos (courtesy of photographer Joe Garrett) are available at the results and photos links on this website.  Thank you, again, to everyone who took part and to the individuals below who were instrumental to the meet’s success this year. 

  • Kathy Hollister – Clerk of Course 

  • Art Ashbrook — Race Starter 

  • Dave McKenzie – Meet Announcer 

  • Joe Garrett — Photographer

  • Jocelyn Lin  — National Anthem 

  • Christopher, IL, Scout Troop – Opening Flag Ceremony 

  • Clair Hayes and Dianah McGreehan – Registration 

  • Julie Grosse – Pre-Registration & Results Coordinator 

  • Brehm Prep School Parent Association & Be the Change Club students – Concessions 

  • Ron Rogers and Mary Beth Goff – Long Jump 

  • Henry Harsy — Shot Put 

  • CPD Volunteers — Ryan, Sophia, & Taylor

Since nearly the beginning of our work on CFFR, we have partnered with SIU students from the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) to handle our social media, flyer design and website marketing efforts.  These students worked with us to develop a social media calendar, draft press releases and post our event on Facebook and Instagram.  

 

This year's PRSSA partners were:  Kendra Gregory, Josie King, Bella Colonna. Thanks for all your hard work on the CFFR!  Past PRSSA partners include:

 

2023  Alexis Parchman, Ashlyn Ege, Carter Walton

2022  Tadzia Lee

2021  CFFR Cancelled Due to COVID

2020  CFFR Cancelled Due to COVID

2019  Haven Thompson

2018  Hannah Colbrook 

BENEFICIARIES

NubAbility (DuQuoin, Illinois)

NubAbility changes lives by showing limb-different kids they CAN. The certified 501(c)3 non-profit's mission is to provide limb-different children with limb-different coaches who instruct and inspire, giving them confidence to succeed in sports and in life.

 

With a name that comes from "Nub" - what the organization calls their limb-different limb - and "ability," NubAbility® Athletics Foundation was created to help children ages 4-17 with congenital or traumatic limb difference, frozen limb or highly mobile cerebral palsy, gain courage and confidence through participation in mainstream, organized sports. Once these young athletes learn they can overcome challenges on the playing fields, they take the same lessons of grit and perseverance into other areas of their lives.

 

NubAbility’s biggest camp is the All Sports Camp it holds in Du Quoin, IL, each July. This year, this camp will feature four days of expert coaching by 80 limb-different instructors in 19 sports. Previous camps have drawn participants from 49 states and 11 foreign countries, and the organization anticipates that the 2023 All Sports will bring more than 150 children and their families to Southern Illinois. This camp is supported by the work of more than 200 community volunteers in areas from food preparation to security to sales at their pop-up Nub Shop.

 

Starting with their first camp in 2012, NubAbility has served more than 1,700 limb-different children at more than 50 camps in 14 states. In 2023, the non-profit will provide instruction in 24 mainstream, organized and outdoor sports at 15 camps across the country. The organization is proud that their work helps build diversity and inclusion in sports - and that children leave their camps owning their limb difference and ready to participate on their community and school teams.

 

To learn more about this program or to sign up to attend a camp or volunteer, please visit www.nubability.org.

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Beacon House

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Beacon House - Bawaleshi Child Development Center

(Greater Accra Region, Ghana)

 

 

Beacon House started in 2006 with a few missionaries in Ghana who had a Christ-filled heart for at-risk children. It started out as an orphanage where Beacon House took in abandoned or at-risk children from dysfunctional households, while working with the parents to improve the environment. Most of the children were from broken homes or were street children in remote areas. Some children had communicable diseases or other life-threatening illnesses. 

At any given time, the home had 25-30 children. Although not affiliated with the government, Beacon House worked closely with the Department of Social Welfare on creating rules and laws to better the treatment of children in orphanages. However, Ghana eventually signed the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption in 2016 which began the closing of privately run orphanages in favor of utilizing a Foster Care system. Notwithstanding Beacon House’s disagreement with that aspect of the Convention, we still work very closely with the Department of Social Welfare in identifying and placing at-risk children. Beacon House closed the orphanage homes in May of 2019, transitioning to community level interdictions and child literacy programs.

Currently, Beacon House is building a Children’s Development Center in the village of Bawaleshi (BCDC), in the Greater Accra Region. In a survey conducted in November of 2021 there are approximately 2100 children aged 5-18 years of age in the service area. Our target age group is 5-16 years. The purpose of the BCDC is to improve literacy of the children thereby giving them greater opportunities in life. The school system in Ghana is very poor with few resources. We work together with the schools in such areas as book donations, curriculum development, and child monitoring. Given the Center’s proximity to Ghana Christian University (approx. 5 miles) there are ample volunteers available to work and learn about children’s issues and ministry to them. Dr. Patrick Cline, the Executive Director of Beacon House and Professor of Business at Liberty University, built GCU and created the School of Professional Studies.

To learn more about Beacon House and their work caring for orphaned and vulnerable children in Ghana, visit http://beaconhouseghana.org/

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