ROGERS PARK — Family Matters’ annual walk-a-thon will take place this weekend, and it will bring back a popular component added during the pandemic: a bike ride.
The 32nd edition of the fundraising event, now called the Walk & Roll-A-Thon, will take place 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday. Walkers and bikers will begin and end at Willye B. White Park, 1610 W. Howard St., and explore some of Rogers Park’s most popular destinations along the way.
The 5K walk and 8-mile bike ride will begin 10 a.m. Participants will travel past some of Rogers Park’s viaduct murals, the Glenwood Sculpture Garden, the lakefront and Loyola’s campus, among other destinations, said Ann Hinterman, director of community engagement at the youth-focused nonprofit Family Matters.
“We’re taking a tour of Rogers Park so people can see the beauty of our community,” Hinterman said.
The bike route was added to last year’s event as a way to create social distancing during the pandemic. It was a popular addition, and neighbors asked that it stick around, Hinterman said. Divvy will offer free use of its bikes at the event.
Walkers and runners will meet at White Park for a picnic that will start about noon Saturday. The picnic will include food, carnival games and live music.
Family Matters seeks to raise $62,000. It had raised a little more than $50,000 as of Tuesday evening.
The event is one of Family Matters’ biggest fundraisers and helps the North of Howard organization fund The Family Matters School and programs for local kids. That includes an expansion of its mentoring program and the newly expanded teen jobs and work skills training program called Project Rise, Hinterman said.
“Teens talked to Family Matters staff about how much trouble they were having finding jobs,” she said. “We’re really excited to do more job placement.”
For more information on the walk and roll-a-thon, check out its event page.
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