ABOUT US

Co-founded by Carbondale community members Marian Appiah-Kubi and Kathy Jones in 2017, the 2019 Community Fun and Fitness Relays (CFFR) is presented through the collaborative efforts of the Planning Committee members below:

 

 

MARIAN APPIAH-KUBI, Co-Director

 

Marian is a native of Ghana, West Africa, who was raised in Obo-Kwahu. A Canadian national and Carbondale “transplant,” she is an SIUC alumna (Class of ’02, ’04, ’06) who ran the 400-meters on a track scholarship under coaches Don DeNoon and Connie Price-Smith, among others, during her five-year tenure on the Saluki Women’s Track team. A member of the University Honors Program, she earned Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Communication Disorders and Sciences and a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics from SIUC, instructing in that department's TESOL program for a time following that. Marian was the winner of the 1998 SIUC Alpha Phi Alpha Miss Eboness Pageant and the Midwest States’ Regional Miss Black and Gold Pageant, as well as the Miss Congeniality award at the ensuing National Miss Black and Gold Pageant in Dallas, Texas. A Saluki Scholar who served a term as President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board, she represented SIUC at the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Conference in 2001 and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Minority Student Leadership Program in 2003. Marian was a group fitness instructor at the SIU Student Recreation Center during her studies at SIU and competed successfully in the Mr. & Ms. SIU Bodybuilding Championships in multiple divisions as well as several amateur natural bodybuilding and fitness competitions. She is a member of her church’s praise band and was an active part of the Newman Catholic Student Center for 15 years, singing in the choir there as well as with The Belletones, a small a cappella doo-wop group that entertains area children and nursing home residents. An aesthetic sports, fitness, and performing arts enthusiast, she is a National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified personal trainer currently employed as a speech-language pathologist. Marian is a passionate believer in the transformative power of literacy and education, and she is thrilled for the honor of helping to offer this unique opportunity for active fun and competition while improving the quality of life for children in her native and adopted homes!

 

KATHY JONES, Co-Director

 

Kathy was employed at SIU for 18 years. She supervised four of the Olympic sports programs there and was the department’s point person for monitoring student-athlete well-being. She oversaw compliance and the student services areas, including academic advising, athletic training and strength, and conditioning. Jones headed up departmental efforts on diversity and gender equity issues. She was heavily involved on the SIU campus and nationally during her tenure, serving on numerous committees including the Administrative/Professional (A/P) Staff Council since 2011 and chairing the Council for three years. She represented the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) for six years on the NCAA Division I Leadership Council and the NCAA Management Council. She served as an adjunct SIU faculty member, teaching courses in the Department of Kinesiology and the School of Law. Jones is a Saluki alum, graduating with a Masters in Higher Education – College Student Personnel from SIU in 1977 and from William Mitchell College of Law in 1984. She is looking forward to a successful 2019 presentation of the CFFR!

 

Victoria “Tori” Bond has been running for as long as she can remember. She grew up in a running family in Southern Illinois, spent many weekends at local road races, participated in cross country and track, and has always been passionate about running for both overall physical and mental health. Tori gives much credit to her dad for showing her that anything is possible if you work hard and stay positive. She has completed multiple 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, four 50ks, and two 50 milers. She is currently the co-editor of the River to River Runners Club news reporter, sits on the board of directors, and works on the club’s youth outreach. In the past, Tori coached “Sole Camp,” a local running camp for young girls, which not only incorporated running but also taught important life lessons. She has a 10 year-old-son, who runs as well and also participates or has participated in almost every sport imaginable. He motivates and inspires her as well. Tori has worked at SIU-C’s Morris Library for over 10 years. She is passionate about reading, writing, and helping others. She is excited to help with this year’s CFFR and to become even more involved in our local health and fitness community.

 

Nana Adwoa Bondzi is a stay-at-home mom of two wonderful children. Before moving to Carbondale, Nana lived and worked in Hampton, Virginia, as a Pharmacy Technician both in the retail and hospital settings. Prior to her stay in Virginia, Nana lived in the UK. She attended high school in London and college in the north of England. Nana studied Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science at the University of Sunderland, near Newcastle, England. Upon graduation, she worked as an analytical chemist in the R&D departments of Pfizer UK, Glaxo UK, and Smith Kline Beecham Ltd, which merged with Glaxo in January 2000 to become the present and familiar GSK (GlaxoSmithKline). When she is not chauffeuring, teaching, and generally running around with her children, Nana is actively involved in the community. She volunteers at her local elementary school, contributes and gives support to the SIU African Students’ Council, and serves at local food pantries and soup kitchens. Nana is honoured to lend her support to the CFFR because she believes it is a noble cause that positively impacts both the local Carbondale community and that of Obo-Kwahu. (Think local, Act global!)

 

Nana Adwoa Bondzi is a stay-at-home mom of two wonderful children. Before moving to Carbondale, Nana lived and worked in Hampton, Virginia, as a Pharmacy Technician both in the retail and hospital settings. Prior to her stay in Virginia, Nana lived in the UK. She attended high school in London and college in the north of England. Nana studied Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science at the University of Sunderland, near Newcastle, England. Upon graduation, she worked as an analytical chemist in the R&D departments of Pfizer UK, Glaxo UK, and Smith Kline Beecham Ltd, which merged with Glaxo in January 2000 to become the present and familiar GSK (GlaxoSmithKline). When she is not chauffeuring, teaching, and generally running around with her children, Nana is actively involved in the community. She volunteers at her local elementary school, contributes and gives support to the SIU African Students’ Council, and serves at local food pantries and soup kitchens. Nana is honoured to lend her support to the CFFR because she believes it is a noble cause that positively impacts both the local Carbondale community and that of Obo-Kwahu. (Think local, Act global!)

 

Clinette “Clair” Hayes, great-granddaughter of Eurma C. Hayes, is a native of Carbondale, Illinois. She is currently the Deputy City Clerk for the City of Carbondale and has been a city employee for roughly 18 years.  Clair received her Bachelor of Science degree in Workforce Education & Development specializing in Administrative Services and Master of Science degree in Kinesiology focusing on Sport Administration, both from SIUC. Clair is a proud alumna and avid sports fan. She can be spotted in the crowds at almost all Saluki basketball and football home games. She is also very active at Bethel A.M.E. Church, her home church, where she serves as the Church Treasurer and a member of the Steward Board.  Her other hobbies include singing, traveling, fitness, and anything basketball related.  Clair is very excited to serve on the CFFR Committee as it benefits a program that is important in her community and hopes this event will be a positive impact on all communities in Carbondale.

 

Clinette “Clair” Hayes, great-granddaughter of Eurma C. Hayes, is a native of Carbondale, Illinois. She is currently the Deputy City Clerk for the City of Carbondale and has been a city employee for roughly 18 years.  Clair received her Bachelor of Science degree in Workforce Education & Development specializing in Administrative Services and Master of Science degree in Kinesiology focusing on Sport Administration, both from SIUC. Clair is a proud alumna and avid sports fan. She can be spotted in the crowds at almost all Saluki basketball and football home games. She is also very active at Bethel A.M.E. Church, her home church, where she serves as the Church Treasurer and a member of the Steward Board.  Her other hobbies include singing, traveling, fitness, and anything basketball related.  Clair is very excited to serve on the CFFR Committee as it benefits a program that is important in her community and hopes this event will be a positive impact on all communities in Carbondale.

 

Kathy Hollister was employed for 33 years at SIU. She was Assistant Director of Recreational Sports and Services. She was responsible for Special Populations, which included People with Disabilities, Wheelchair Sports, Youth and Families, and International Students. For 10 years, Kathy served on the Illinois State Board for Special Olympics. She was also a Carbondale Park District Commissioner, 6 years and just completed her tenure in May.  She is the official scorekeeper for the SIU Women's Basketball Team and Clerk of Course with SIU Track and Field. Kathy graduated from Central Michigan University in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Science in Education in 1986 from SIU. An avid fitness buff herself, she enjoys working track meets and looks forward to offering her expertise at this 3rd year event.

 

Kathy Hollister was employed for 33 years at SIU. She was Assistant Director of Recreational Sports and Services. She was responsible for Special Populations, which included People with Disabilities, Wheelchair Sports, Youth and Families, and International Students. For 10 years, Kathy served on the Illinois State Board for Special Olympics. She was also a Carbondale Park District Commissioner, 6 years and just completed her tenure in May.  She is the official scorekeeper for the SIU Women's Basketball Team and Clerk of Course with SIU Track and Field. Kathy graduated from Central Michigan University in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Science in Education in 1986 from SIU. An avid fitness buff herself, she enjoys working track meets and looks forward to offering her expertise at this 3rd year event.

 

Ella Lacey, PhD, has served the "I Can Read" program as a volunteer tutor, administrator, and member of the Board of Directors for its 20-year tenure, with the exception of periods when she was out-of-country. She was born in Hayti, Missouri, to parents who chopped and picked cotton as their main livelihood. In her family of seven, education was the beacon of hope; hence, Dr. Lacey embraced education by eagerly attending school and getting high marks. A substantial share of her family’s hope was transferred to her. Her determination to achieve propelled her to attain bachelor's, master’s, and doctoral degrees against many odds and, in the same manner, to attain rank as a faculty member in a new medical school, to retire at a young age, and to engage in long-term volunteer programs in African and Asian countries, as well as to do short term travel to Belize, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and several Latin-American countries. It was that same determination that led Dr. Lacey to resist racial and gender discrimination and to hold exceptionality as her standard. This spirit has resulted in honors and recognitions by her peers and others in ways that she never could have previously imagined. Dr. Lacey loves to use struggles and triumphs of her life as instructive models for encouraging young people to avoid or overcome battles in their lives. She believes the future will be bright for those who are willing to work hard to make it so, and, to the contrary, she does not feel the future holds much promise for those who are not willing to challenge themselves.

 

Ella Lacey, PhD, has served the "I Can Read" program as a volunteer tutor, administrator, and member of the Board of Directors for its 20-year tenure, with the exception of periods when she was out-of-country. She was born in Hayti, Missouri, to parents who chopped and picked cotton as their main livelihood. In her family of seven, education was the beacon of hope; hence, Dr. Lacey embraced education by eagerly attending school and getting high marks. A substantial share of her family’s hope was transferred to her. Her determination to achieve propelled her to attain bachelor's, master’s, and doctoral degrees against many odds and, in the same manner, to attain rank as a faculty member in a new medical school, to retire at a young age, and to engage in long-term volunteer programs in African and Asian countries, as well as to do short term travel to Belize, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and several Latin-American countries. It was that same determination that led Dr. Lacey to resist racial and gender discrimination and to hold exceptionality as her standard. This spirit has resulted in honors and recognitions by her peers and others in ways that she never could have previously imagined. Dr. Lacey loves to use struggles and triumphs of her life as instructive models for encouraging young people to avoid or overcome battles in their lives. She believes the future will be bright for those who are willing to work hard to make it so, and, to the contrary, she does not feel the future holds much promise for those who are not willing to challenge themselves.

 

Shema Ruperto is the Director of For Kids' Sake, an international non-profit that cares for, educates and empowers thousands of orphans and students in Bangladesh. With her experience of organizing the annual For Kids' Sake Superhero 5K since 2011, Shema offers advice, consult and brainstorming power to the team. She joined the CCFR team out of pure love and respect for the organizers, Marian and Kathy. Their dedication and passion for this event and the cause inspires her to help in any way she can.

OUR CONTACT INFO:

Email: gocffr@gmail.com

Mailing Address: Community Fun & Fitness Relays

c/o LIFE Community Center

ATTN: Marian Appiah-Kubi

2500 W. Sunset Dr.

Carbondale, IL

62901

© 2019 by CFFR. Proudly created with Wix.com

Questions? Email us at gocffr@gmail.com!

 

Email: gocffr@gmail.com                        Phone: 618-528-1040

 

Mailing Address:

Community Fun & Fitness Relays (CFFR)  

ATTN:  Marian Appiah-Kubi

LIFE Community Center

2500 W. Sunset Drive

Carbondale, IL, 62901