First Metamora St. Jude Run deemed a success

Drew Veskauf TimesNewspapers

The first Metamora to Peoria St. Jude Run was held Saturday and raising money was no issue.

About 55 runners participated in the event 34.66-mile run to help benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital located in Memphis, Tenn.

The runners took off at 7:47 a.m. from the Jubilee parking lot and traveled the town of Metamora until making their way down Illinois Rout 116 to finish up at the Peoria Civic Center.

Diana Read helped initiate the run after doing it in Chillicothe previously.

“I ran for Chillicothe the last five years and so then I lived here the last four years. I thought, ‘Heck, why not just, instead of raising $2,000 a year raise $50,000 more a year,” Read said.

The online donation mark was set for $50,000 for the first Metamora run.

“Our mark online, we destroyed that one. We’re past the online mark so now we’re going for the first year record of $60,000. I’m pretty sure we’re going to break that,” Read said.

The St. Jude Run has evolved over 33 years and now includes 33 cities from Illinois and Missouri, including Memphis. The charitable event has raised over $32 million for the cause.

The current race from Memphis to Peoria broke the record for amount raised in a year with $1,000,808.08 raised.

Participating in the Metamora run was Metamora junior Cassy Fitzgibbons. She battled cancer her freshman year but has come back to compete for the Metamora Township High School cross country and track and field team.

Fitzgibbons was all-conference in the 2013 cross country season and was a state qualifier.

Fitzgibbons said she was more than excited to get in on the first Metamora run.

“It’s like really cool to see the community come together as a 

whole to do something for this so it just shows how much people support it,” Fitzgibbons said.

“This was the first local one that I could do, so I definitely wanted the chance to do it.”

Once Fitzgibbons becomes 18, she said she would like to do the run from Memphis to Peoria.

Fitzgibbons father, David Fitzgibbons, said he was impressed with the number of runners and his daughters involvement with the run.

“The first meeting we had the whole room filled. Cassy got up and gave a little speech during it and kind of served as an inspiration for everybody,” David Fitzgibbons said.