QUINCY— It’s not about the running, it’s about the cause.
And April Sinnock is a perfect example.
Sinnock is taking part in her 10th St. Jude Quincy-to-Peoria Run this weekend. The event benefits the work of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
“I’m a lifer,” Sinnock said. “I can’t imagine not being a part of this.”
More than 60 runners from Quincy and Hannibal are taking part. The participants left downtown Quincy around 2:30 p.m. Friday, and will eventually arrive in Peoria sometime Saturday afternoon. The 135-mile sojourn will see each of the runners log at least “15 to 20 miles” each, according to first-year coordinator Caitlin Kendrick.
“The planning for this two-day event is a year-round thing,” Kendrick said. “You plan all year for these two days.”
Each of the participants and their support force of volunteers must raise at least $1,000 to take part. All of the funds go to St. Jude, which works to find cures and save children with pediatric cancer and other major childhood diseases.
The work at St. Jude has helped increase the overall childhood cancer survivor rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since 1962. And families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food.
“This is my first year of doing this,” Camp Point resident Laura Evans said. “I have never done anything like this before. The kids motivate me. I expect it to be quite emotional when we get to Peoria.”
The Quincy-to-Peoria Run has raised $1,489,547 since its 2005 inception. The Quincy run is one of more than 30 satellite runs that support the larger Memphis-to-Peoria run. Peoria is home to one of several St. Jude satellite hospitals.
“I was emotionally overwhelmed my first year,” Sinnock said. “It’s hard to explain.”
Lynde France and her friend, Emily Miller, travel each year from the Astoria area to Quincy to take part.
France is a middle school teacher who had a 13-year-old student who died a few years ago from a form of pediatric cancer. That is what drew her to the St. Jude run, and what she found was far more rewarding than she ever expected.
“There is a great camaraderie (among the participants),” France said. “We are all running for the same purpose.”
Miller readily admits she is not a runner, but is a believer in what St. Jude provides.
“I’m not a runner, but I’m running for St. Jude,” she said. “I do it for the kids. I feel like I’m setting an example … to do something that can benefit other people.”
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