¡ Love this volleyball tourney!
by BETH ALTENA
According to organizer Pete MacGregor, this year’s competition included 50-plus teams and added a whopping $12,300 to the dollars for Project Parent MD, an organization dedicated to finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The total for the five years of Volley for Mitchell is pushing $42,000 to Project Parent MD.
This year there were 180 players ranging in age from 10 to over 50. “We will take any age and skill level,” MacGregor said.
The event is an offshoot of the ever-popular and ever-growing Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford, in its 13th year. Named after Rockford resident Mitchell Peterson, now a 10th-grade student, the run has raised $625,000 over the past 12 years. Mitchell was diagnosed at a young age with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the most devastating form of the disease, which always afflicts young boys. Over the years, Mitchell’s Run has become a huge event in Rockford and has raised awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and the need to find a cure.
“We are very thrilled with this year’s event,” said MacGregor.
MacGregor, who is a former neighbor to the Peterson family, came up with the idea of Volley for Mitchell five years ago. He said not everyone is a runner, and he wanted to offer an alternative way to support the good cause of the Parent Project MD. The Score Restaurant was first to provide a venue for the competition, and MacGregor said he is very grateful for early supporters as well as new supporters—including AT&T, Integrated Strategies Inc., Walmart and St. Mary’s, who are all onboard for the first time this year.
With clear skies and beautiful, if hot, weather, Volley for Mitchell went smoothly with youngest competitors playing at North Rockford Middle School and adults ending the day’s competition at The Score.
Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford is racing right up and is scheduled for August 20. The run is a 5K run/walk beginning at 8:30 a.m. The race is a family-fun event with live bands, music and a radio feed from LAV. Those not into running will nevertheless enjoy the one-of-a-kind day in downtown Rockford. They can cheer on the racers as they cross the finish line at the Squires Street bridge, purchase auction items at the Rotary Pavilion, and end with a stroll through Rockford’s many shops and restaurants.
The cost for running or walking the race is $25 for ages over 16. For those under age 16—including participants in a special Kids for Kids race at 9:30 a.m. for ages 10 and under—the cost is just $15. One hundred percent of proceeds and race entries as well as proceeds from the auction go to Project Parent MD. This year’s theme is ¡ Love this Run!
Mitchell’s Run is always so well organized that it annually draws praise from city leaders. City Manager Michael Young said volunteers and supporters of the event are so dedicated, that there is a waiting line to be a volunteer. He called that a tribute to what a difference the story of Mitchell has made to people in this area.
In addition to Mitchell’s Run, the auction and Volley for Mitchell, more events have been added to the menu of how to help find a cure for this disease. Students who go to school with Mitchell, Alex Lundy and Tyler Fehnesfeld, and others throughout the district participate in Classmates for a Cure. New this year is Mitch Madness, a three-point basketball shootout, which will be held Thursday, August 11 at a neighbor’s home, 10223 Serenity Shores.
For those who cannot participate in the other events, a Strides for a Cure sign can be purchased. Words of support for Mitchell and the many other area young men who are fighting Duchenne will be placed along the route of the race. More information about all of the Mitchell fundraising opportunities is available online at the Mitchell’s Run website at mitchellsrun.org.