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Co-founded by Carbondale community members Marian Morris and Kathy Jones in 2017, 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.


The 2022 CFFR is presented through the collaborative efforts of the Planning Committee members below:


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Marian Morris, 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 and other amateur natural bodybuilding and figure competitions upon the conclusion of her Saluki running career. 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 youth 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 2022 presentation of the CFFR!

Courtney Flowers is a native of Carbondale, Illinois. She grew up running track and field in elementary and high school, holding sprint and relay records in the South Seven Conference. She currently is an accountant at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in the School of Medicine Administrative Office. Courtney received her Associate of Arts from John A Logan College in 2018 and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from McKendree University in 2021. She is also currently working on her Master’s in Business Administration at SIUC. Courtney is a mother of two, Jordan and Gianna, and enjoys spending time with her kids, as well as traveling and exploring new things. Courtney is very excited about being involved in this event, as it is built to serve the community she grew up in, and she hopes that it fosters the importance of being active and healthy for everyone. 

Neicey Fredrickson is currently administrating and managing her family’s businesses, Dennis W. Fredrickson, DMD, General and Cosmetic Dentistry and All Fitness and Physical Therapy, in Carbondale, and Carterville Family Dentistry, which has served that Southern Illinois community for over seven years. Prior to locating to Carbondale, Neicey graduated from several colleges and universities, earning her most recent degree, a Master’s in Exercise Science and Physical Therapy, from Saint Louis University in 2008. She has found it a blessing and a privilege to practice physical therapy in hospitals, nursing homes, and outpatient clinics, and it has been uplifting for her to serve her community through churches and community organizations for many years. At the present, Neicey assists the Carbondale Clovers 4-H program with her family. Her hobbies include camping, hiking, biking, cooking, and reading. She is looking forward to helping to make this year's CFFR the best one yet!

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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.

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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.

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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.



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