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Don’t be fooled by this

Huntley’s “Don’t Be Fooled 5k for Special Olympics,” brings the community together to promote a message of hope.
J. Moen
The ceremonial torch is carried by community members to begin the “Don’t Be Fooled 5K.”

The runners feel the sun beam down against their skin on a cool Saturday morning as they organize before the start line. Adrenaline courses through each runner who is ready to give it their best, and they are ushered to begin the 3.1 mile run.

On Saturday, April 6 at 9 a.m., the “Don’t Be Fooled 5K” took place in downtown Huntley. The participants began on Coral Street, headed north on Church Street, wrapped around Algonquin and Haligus Road, and made their way back on Main Street to the Town Square. After crossing the finish line, runners were greeted with water and nutritious snacks to replenish their bodies.

Before the run, deputy sheriff Amy Williams introduced many special athletes and began a torch lighting ceremony, representing a light for members in the community to follow towards hope.

Runners of all ages participated in the run to support individuals with intellectual disabilities, raising close to $3,650 to benefit the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois. 

“The Don’t Be Fooled 5K is an opportunity for us to partner with our community and serve those who have intellectual disabilities,” Williams said. “It helps us foster a platform that engages inclusion.”

The Don’t Be Fooled 5K brings an enlightening opportunity for special athletes to connect with their many supporters and do what they love. The 5K brought together many of Huntley’s special athletes, such as athletic leader and powerlifter Stephen Katz, who shared his encouragement and enthusiasm for the Special Olympics while by standing the run.

The inclusion of all athletes to participate in the Special Olympics and events to promote it, such as the Don’t Be Fooled 5K, is a very inspiring advancement in society. Providing a valued voice to those with intellectual disabilities is extremely uplifting to both the special athletes themselves, as well as others who care about unification and equality for everyone.

“It’s amazing to see the athletes, watch them compete at some of the games, and participate in some games with them,” runner Steven Skrodzki said.

The Don’t Be Fooled 5K was an all-inclusive event to unite members of the community and inspire what it means to strengthen themselves and a good cause. Participating in a 5K that promotes such a goal requires athleticism and endurance, but also a selfless display of generosity.

“I’m always looking for ways to give back, and I participated in it to give to the cause, but also because I love the run,” runner Brad Besch said. “It’s a good match to be able to do something I enjoy while giving back.”

Despite the physical component of the run, the emotional message of the run is extremely empowering. The Don’t Be Fooled 5K encourages everyone to see past an individual’s disability, and instead focus on their ability. This 5K, along with many other emboldening organizations for people with intellectual disabilities, is an inspiring promise of hope and inclusion.

“The Don’t Be Fooled 5K means hope that we will ensure that those with intellectual disabilities have a voice and opportunities, just like everyone else,” Williams said.

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About the Contributor
Riley Eagan
Riley Eagan, Staff Writer
Riley Eagan is a staff writer, it's her first year on staff. In her free time, Riley hangs out with her friends and plays soccer.

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