Chicago, Ill., June 12, 2018 The 37th Annual Proud To Run, a 10K/5K run and 5K fun walk, will be held on the morning of Saturday, June 23, at Montrose Harbor.
Since 1982, Proud To Run has been a part of Chicago's annual Pride Week activities, focused on celebrating pride in a healthy, inclusive way and raising funds for Chicago-area nonprofit organizations that help make the LGBTQ+ community healthier, safer, and stronger.
This year, Proud To Run welcomes WGN-TV's Mike Lowe as master of ceremonies. Lowe has won 21 Emmy Awards, three Edward R. Murrow awards, and a national Walter Cronkite Award for Political Journalism. He serves on the Board of Governors of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences ( Chicago ). He holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, where he won the Harrington Award, the school's top student honor. He's also a winner of the prestigious Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship and the Newton Minow Fellowship.
Singer, composer, and musician Kyra Leigh, a trans woman and Chicago resident, will perform the National Anthem during the opening ceremony. Race day entertainment will include Urban Pooch Head Trainer Jim Bahr and his talented dogs in an agility demonstration, which has proven to be an audience favorite over the years. Plus, the fabulous Chicago Spirit Brigade will cheer on participants, and then perform as part of the post-race program.
Proceeds from this year's event and Proud To Runway, a highly successful fashion show fundraiser held earlier this year, will be donated to four beneficiaries: Test Positive Aware Network ( TPAN ), Care2Prevent, The Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, and Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative ( PACPI ).
As Chicago's Original Pride Week Running Event, Proud To Run attracts participants from all over the country. For Illinois resident Devin Graff, an LGBTQ+ ally and three-time participant, the race carries a special significance. "I first signed up to support my brother, who is a part of the LGBTQ+ family. And to support the organizations that benefit from Proud To Run."
She continues, "But in 2016, the race was right after the Orlando shooting, and the 2017 race was the first since the election. Doing Proud To Run is a way for the community to say, 'We're here.' And for allies to say, 'We see you. We're all part of this.'"
To reflect what the event has come to mean to its participants, Proud To Run introduced a unifying tagline for 2018, the first in its 37-year history Run. Forward.
"There's always been an emphasis on strength in community at the race," says Proud To Run's Digital Marketing Chair and Devin's brother Robert Graff. "With this year's tagline, we're more directly acknowledging that it's a difficult world for LGBTQ+ people to live in sometimes. But that doesn't stop us. We keep moving forward."
The 2017 event brought together over 2,000 runners and walkers, and raised over $65,000 for their beneficiaries, a record they hope to surpass with this year's event.
For more information about the 37th Annual Proud To Run, including how to register for the race and donate, visit proudtorun.org .