The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

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Running for a cause: Sarah Bush Lincoln ready for annual races

Runners participate in the Toddler Trot two years ago at O’Brien Stadium Field during the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center Races for all Paces event. (Rob Le Cates)

Sarah Bush Lincoln will be hosting its 16th annual Races for all Paces event on the morning of Saturday, June 1. Hundreds of people will flood the streets around Eastern in an attempt to raise funds for the hospital. 

The event consists of five separate races. The 10K, 5K, and one-mile runs are open to any competitor who signed up. In addition, there will be two children only races: one aptly named the “Toddler Trot” (ages 3-5) and the other, the “Diaper Dash” (under 3). 

“It is, without a doubt, Sara Bush Lincoln’s biggest event of the year.” said Director of Heathy Communities for SBL, Laura Bollan, who has worked the Races for all Paces event for the past 13 years. 

Bollan expects over a thousand participants in 2024, which would be a new event record. For that reason, she is hoping to raise $18,000 at this year’s event; A $3,000 uptick from last year’s total.  

The funds raised will benefit Sarah Bush Lincoln dental services, a field of SBL that loses more money than it gains. 

“It’s a huge program,” said Bollan. “Basically, we rely on donors, we rely on grants. This is a program that loses money every year, but Sarah bush covers it because it’s the right thing to do. That’s why we depend on donations so much.” 

One part of Sarah Bush Lincoln’s dental service that uses up funds is the SBL dental bus. The SBL dental bus is a traveling dentist office used to serve children on Medicaid from surrounding counties. Last year, the bus served 3,302 kids at 61 separate schools.

Bollan said proceeds from the hundreds of runners at the event will certainly help the dental buses mission. Though, with hundreds of runners competing joined by 250 staff members, the event must be logistically efficient.  

Bollan relies on help from the University to ensure smooth sailing on the day of the event. 

“I work with ground crews, I work with the athletic department, electricians, plumbers, you name it,” said Bollan. “We work with every department out there, it feels like, and they’re all wonderful. We are a team, and they help me every year. We met [Friday] for a walkthrough, and it went great.” 

The routes are set, signage posted, and medals prepared. The event is sure to be underway in the early hours of Saturday. 

Some good news for those competing? 

Bollan reported that she is not concerned about cicadas. 

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About the Contributor
Rob Le Cates
Rob Le Cates, Editor-in-Chief
Rob Le Cates is a junior journalism major. He previously served as summer editor-in-chief, photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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