Annual Groovin’ in the Grove Race Raises Money for Sharing Connections

Event promotes community service, camaraderie among Midwestern community

  • IL - Downers Grove
A few of the Groovin' in the Grove race participants pause for a photo together.

Groovin’ in the Grove race participants share a moment of togetherness. 

The annual race Groovin’ in the Grove was held May 4, 2024, on the Downers Grove Campus of ɫƵ. The race had a Star Wars-themed twist, and students, faculty, and staff from ɫƵ along with the local community gathered to participate in the race.

“It is a great opportunity to see your classmates and co-workers outside of the academic setting while also supporting a great cause,” said Nick Maentanis, Assistant Director of Student Activities and Campus Recreation. Proceeds from the event will go to Sharing Connections, a nonprofit organization that assists local people in need with furniture and other household items. “Sharing Connections has such a strong presence in the Downers Grove and DuPage County communities, and it is important to be able to support them in their efforts,” Mr. Maentanis said. 

A growing number of the Midwestern community and the local community turned up for the event. “This year we saw an increase in participation from the 2023 race. We hope to continue to see an increase each year,” Mr. Maentanis said. 

The race had a route that went through the main campus road. Participants had the opportunity to view the quad and all the corners of the Downers Grove Campus. Additionally, anyone who participated in the race received a T-shirt and a medal. The event was co-sponsored by the Student Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (SAMOPS) and the Sports Medicine Club.

Participants compete in various age groups for men and women, with winners determined in each group. In addition, the event includes a Warrior Challenge, which tests endurance and physical fitness via a combination of the row machine, sit ups, and push-ups. In the future, Mr. Maentanis said he hopes to see “the ongoing support from the ɫƵ community by continuing to attend our race.”

The Groovin’ in the Grove annual 5K race takes place on the Downers Grove Campus, and it has been traditionally held around Mother’s Day since 1989.

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