Come Out and Support Those with Disabilities at Cupid’s Chase Annual 5K Run
On Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, at 10 a.m. Community Options, Inc. (COI) will hold their annual Cupid’s Chase 5K Run in eight states and twenty-one locations. All proceeds go to support people with disabilities served by Community Options.
Community Options, Inc. (COI) is a non-profit organization that has been providing housing and employment supports to individuals with disabilities since 1989. COI has the support of Justin Hartwig, previous Pittsburgh Steelers center, as the emcee at the Pittsburgh Run. In addition, Chili’s Restaurant has been a valuable asset as well with regards to gaining attention of COI’s runs mission.
This year the Cupid’s Chase is especially important as the organization was hit brutally by hurricane Sandy. In NJ alone COI operates 90 group homes. Before the storm hit COI prepared by moving its residents to hotels and other group homes out of Sandy’s way and ensured the safety of its vulnerable population. Staff worked countless hours to coordinate this effort! The funds from Cupid’s Chase will go a long way in helping COI get back to where it was before the storm.
This race means more than funding to COI. Cupid’s Chase has always served to bring people together and boost support for the cause! Last year, Gabbi, a woman supported by COI actually found her niche while at a Cupid’s Chase event. When Gabbi first came to COI, she was extremely limited verbally; she could not express herself fully, spoke using a few simple words such as “hi” and “yes,” would never initiate conversation, and would only answer “yes or no” questions. In February 2012, while working with Chili's Restaurant in San Antonio, Texas to raise awareness about Cupid’s Chase, the employment staff with COI sought this as an opportunity to introduce Gabbi to the manager, request an application and explain her skill set. Gabbi has now been working for Chili’s for over ten months and is considered one of their best employees. Today, Gabbi's speech has improved greatly and she is highly verbal, even initiating conversations with staff and peers. She is able to communicate her wants and needs verbally, and can express her personality in a way that was previously impossible. She is happy with her job at Chili's and thankful to them for giving her an opportunity to prove that having a disability should never keep someone who wants to work from working.
Cupid’s Chase will take place in the same states in which COI operates: KY, NM, NJ, NY, PA, SC, TN, and TX. The cities that will host the event are Bowling Green, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Burlington City, Glen Rock, New Brunswick, Princeton, Stone Harbor, Binghamton, New York City, Syracuse, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Columbia, Chattanooga, Cookeville, Nashville, Corpus Christi, Dallas, and San Antonio.
Each race starts at 10:00 a.m. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. COI invites walkers, runners, joggers, and rollers (baby strollers and wheelchairs) to come out and participate. Even if you can’t join in the race, come support a great cause and have a good time doing so!
For more information or to register, please visit: http://www.comop.org/cupidschase/index.html.