Walking for Equity, Community, and Family Matters

The morning of October 7, 2017 turned out to be a beautiful one, which upheld Family Matters’ rain-free Walkathon streak! Nearly 300 youth, families, and friends walked five miles together along the lakefront for equity, community, and Family Matters. Walkers returned to Gale Academy, (a 1/2 block away from Family Matters), and braved the bee swarms to partake in the delicious picnic, enjoy an amazing bubble show, relax with a chair massage, build community and raise funds and awareness for Family Matters.

Many walkers went home with prizes from the free raffle, and all walkers who raised over $100 for the Walkathon were entered into a second raffle. Congratulations to the following winners:

Anna Ashcraft – 2 month membership to Evanston Athletic Club
Shalona Byrd – iPod Nano
Betsy Shuman-Moore – Rogers Park Restaurant gift card package

Thank you so much to all of you who worked to raise funds for the Walkathon and for Family Matters!

Team fundraising pages will stay active indefinitely. If you would like to contribute, please visit the Walkathon Campaign Page here. Thank you for your support!

See more Walkathon photos on our Facebook page! Click here – remember to like our page while you’re there.

Family Matters’ Walkathon has become a long-standing tradition in the North of Howard community, and we are so grateful for this collaboration with volunteers and neighborhood partners.

In addition to our Event and Picnic Sponsors, we’d like to thank:

Heather Miller for taking photos
Rogers Park Business Alliance for the use of their tents
Adolf and Arthia Jenkins for their tireless work at the grill
Carla Eason for providing chair massages
The 49th Ward Alderman’s Office for the use of their sound system
The 24th District Police Department for providing officers at the crosswalk

And to all of our Walkathon volunteers – this event is possible because of your dedication and generosity.

Anna Ashcraft
Kate Bradley
Paul Bradley
Bob Bobesink
Shalona Byrd
Elwina Davis
Mary Jo Deysach
Megan Fellman
Allisen Hansen
Karen Hedberg
Liz Jacobs

Francis Lynch
Kendra McClintock
Sophie Nyanue

Cynthia Patti
Mr. Reuter
Cherry Saldano
Anna Sardar
Chris Stevenson
Jevon Stewart
Ben Tudor

Desiree Washington

What element of the Walkathon did you enjoy most? Do you have suggestions for next year? We’d love to hear from you! Add your comment below or send us a message – gretchen@familymatterschicago.org.

25th Annual Walk A Thon


On May 17th, Family Matters celebrated their 25th anniversary for their annual Walk A Thon.

Being new to Family Matters and hearing so many stories and traditions about the Walk A Thon, I was anxious to see what it was like.

As the Development Intern for Family Matters, I had the opportunity to help with the Walk A Thon by contacting various restaurants to donate food to the picnic. I also created information boards in order for people to learn about the after school programs. 

It was amazing to see how many people supported the Walk. From families to Alumni who participated in the after school program years ago, there were large amounts of people in red Family Matters shirts. I loved seeing the children play at the park after the Walk and seeing old friends connect.

My favorite part of the day was interacting with the Teen Girls. After the walk, we ate food and danced to music. 

Being part of the Walk-A-Thon was one of the highlights of my internship and I hope to be a part of it in future years.

     -Nya Brooks

24th Annual Walk-a-thon

On Saturday, May 18th, Family Matters hosted its 24th annual Walk-a-thon.  Over 450 walkers were outfitted in periwinkle t-shirts, participated in a warm-up provided by members of the Teen Girls Program, and joined together to enjoy the 5-mile walk along the lake amid lovely spring weather.

Once they returned from the walk, they savored the picnic foods, participated in a free raffle, jumped in the bounce house, relieved sore muscles with a chair massage and listened to drumming performances from the Teen Boys Program. 

Winners of the Golden Sneaker Award:
Top Fundraising Team: St Luke’s Church, Evanston
Team with most Youth: Family Connections
Team with most Members: Community Tutoring
Team with most Spirit: Friends of Phoebe
As the philosopher Henry David Thoreau says, “Friends…cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.” At each Family Matters gathering, we are reminded of the many friends – individuals, organizations, and businesses – that believe in us and support us as we work together to fulfill this vision.
Many thanks, and much appreciation to our friends who continue to cherish our hopes and are kind to our dreams. 
Special thanks to our sponsors:
ALBANK–Action Lead Services–Brodicol Products–Devon Bank–Financial Manager Society–Jason’s Foods–Kraff Eye Institute–Northshore Automotive–SharPrint–UPrinting
We are very grateful to the following restaurants and businesses for their generous contributions to our bounteous picnic:

Bakers Square–Caribbean American Baking Co.–Clark-Devon Hardware–Dominick’s on Howard–Dunkin Donuts- Loyola–Eddie’s Food Mart–Edgewater Produce–Family Matters Board Members–Food 4 Less, Evanston–Heartland Café–Lemoi Ace Hardware–Metropolis Coffee–Morse Street Fruit–New Leaf Grocery–Paulina Certified–Rogers Park Fruit Market-Rub BBQ–Sol Café–Strack & Van Til–Subway, N. Clark–The Common Cup–The Fish Keg–Trader Joe’s– Lincoln Park



25th Anniversary Gala

The Family Matters 25th Anniversary Gala was a great success! The evening was lively, full of joy and gratitude, as we celebrated 25 years of partnership. Over 300 guests attended the event. The auction, offering over 200 items and packages, was abundant, varied and exciting and was a significant factor in reaching our financial goal. Many thanks to those who attended, donated or supported us that evening. To see pictures of the evening, click read more. There are also additional pictures on our Facebook page.

Family Matters 23rd Annual Walk-a-thon 2012

On Saturday, May 19, join us for the 23rd Annual Walk-a-thon 2012! Registration begins at 9 a.m. The 5-mile walk begins at 10 a.m. at Gale Academy (corner of Marshfield and Jonquil). Tell your family, friends and coworkers! Register now; You can form a walking team, or register as an individual. Registration includes a 2012 Walk-a-thon t-shirt and sumptuous picnic following the walk. 
For more information or to register, contact Jennifer Gaspers at 773-465-6011, ext. 114. Or by email at: jennifer@familymatterschicago.org
For online registration, visit:  www.familymatterschicago.org