August 27, 2017, the first Kindness 5K was held at Willowbrook High School in Villa Park, IL. More than 35 volunteers and participants represented Marengo, where Katie Kloess lived, coached and taught, prior to her passing. Overall participant and volunteer totals reached almost 600, including 76 virtual participants representing 15 states. Our own Isabella Simonini, an 8th grade student at Zion Lutheran school, sang the National Anthem prior to the race. Not to brag, but another Marengo native, Aaron Boyer finished the 5K in first place. Throughout the event there were kindness activities and donation sites, visits with the Lutheran Church Charities Comfort Dogs and even a Kids Zone for the little ones. The event closed with a worship service and a “VICTORY” lap to celebrate the life, love and light that will continue to shine in memory of our dear friend. The event raised over $16,000 towards a scholarship fund at Concordia University-Chicago and a Victory lounge which was dedicated to Katie in August.

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