Wellness House walk goes virtual to raise funds

In the midst of social distancing, one quarantine-approved activity has brought so many of us out of our homes — walking. For Wellness House, the influx of pedestrians taking to the streets signified an opportunity. Rather than cancel its annual fundraising walk, which traditionally draws more than 3,000 and raises vital funds for the organization’s free-of-charge cancer programming, this year’s walk will be virtual.

The Virtual Walk for Wellness House will take place Sunday, June 28. In lieu of a large gathering of people meeting at Wellness House to take part in the event, organizers are encouraging supporters to participate from their own location — their favorite walking path or neighborhood. Participants are encouraged to don their Wellness House Walk race shirt and create their own course.

“A virtual event gives participants the flexibility to participate in their own way, whether they choose the traditional 3K or 5K options or they choose something different that moves them,” said Deb Kwiatt, Wellness House marketing communications manager.

Kwiatt added that there will be a livestream video including a welcome from Wellness House Executive Director, Lisa Kolavennu, and potentially others, depending on federal and state mandates at that time.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the nonprofit began offering programming for people living with cancer, and their families, online. The decision to make the Walk for Wellness House a virtual event was inspired by the success of this e-learning environment.

“We envision the walk to be an inspiration to our whole community and a reminder that because of Wellness House, people with cancer and their loved ones #NeverWalkAlone,” Kwiatt said.

To register for this event and to help Wellness House reach its fundraising goal of $625,000, visit http://events.wellnesshouse.org/site/TR?fr_id=1100&pg=entry

Kitchen Walk on hold until 2021

The Hinsdale Historical Society Women’s Board has announced that the 15th anniversary of the Hinsdale Cooks! Kitchen Walk has been postponed until May 2021.

Held annually on the Friday of Mother’s Day weekend, the event brings more than 1,200 people from all over the Chicago area to Hinsdale to view the first floors of showcased homes. The event is the main fundraiser for the organization.

“This event provides the majority of the annual fundraising necessary for the Hinsdale Historical Society to fund our operations and programming,” said Carrie Rozich, historical society board member. “It allows us to maintain our cultural and historical treasures, including the Hinsdale History Museum, Immanuel Hall and the R. Harold Zook Home and Studio.”

Given the Kitchen Walk’s cancellation, the society is pursuing alternate means of fundraising. Rozich added that the organization is encouraging those who would normally attend to consider contributing directly to the nonprofit’s annual fund, which can be found online at https://www.hinsdalehistory.org.

Additionally, the society is asking Hinsdaleans to help document life during the COVID-19 pandemic, so subsequent generations can learn what was endured during this unprecedented time.

“Our website will allow Hinsdale residents to help document this transformative and generationally significant event and how our community has been impacted,” Rozich said. “Such a task is core to the mission of our organization, and we encourage participation by all residents with short stories, photographs and even videos.”

To learn more about how to share a short story or video, visit https://www.hinsdalehistory.org. You can also email a submission to [email protected] or use the hashtag #HinsdaleAtHome and #HinsdaleHistory on Facebook and Instagram.

— Alexis Braden of Hinsdale is the paper’s society columnist. Readers can email her at

[email protected].