Nearly 250 People Participate in the Sixth Annual ELA Fun Run, Hosted by NSSRA’s ELA Program

ELA participant Jack Karasik (Lake Forest) walks the route with long-time ELA volunteer Megan Kivarkis (Northbrook).

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Northbrook – June 4, 2019 – Though welcomed with chilly temperatures and cloudy skies, participants in the sixth annual ELA Fun Run at Maplewood Park in Deerfield were not deterred. The run, held a few weeks ago on Friday, May 17, is hosted each year by NSSRA’s Enriched Lifestyles for Adults (ELA) Program.

Joined by peers from four additional special recreation associations (SRAs), the crowd of runners and walkers grew to nearly 250 by the time the race began at the Deerfield park. Members of the community also came out to participate themselves or cheer those running.

In its sixth year, the ELA Fun Run & Walk was created and planned entirely by ELA participants. The ELA Program is a year-round day program for individuals with disabilities who are 22 years and older.

ELA participants worked hard over the last several months planning and organizing the event. They created signs for the path, wrote welcome letters for the other SRAs attending, planned race day activities, put together goodie bags and medals, and invited their friends and families to join them.

Each participant was awarded a medal at the event’s end and concluded the day eating lunch together in the park.

Also attending the event were representatives from Deerfield-Bannockburn Fire Protection District and volunteers from Deerfield Optical, who gave their time to pass out snacks and encourage runners throughout the morning. Sunset Foods in Northbrook generously provided water and fruit for attendees.

SRAs in Attendance
Fox Valley Special Recreation Association (FVSRA)
Northeast DuPage Special Recreation Association (NEDSRA)
Northwest Special Recreation Association (NWSRA)
South East Association for Special Parks & Recreation (SEASPAR)

Supporting Families, Businesses and Organizations
Deerfield Bannockburn Fire Protection District
Deerfield Optical
Schuman Family
D&R Autoworks
33 Realty
Jewel Osco
Kivarkis Family
Judy Krit
Matsumoto Family
Don & Nancy McNair
Sunset Foods (Northbrook)


Enriched Lifestyles for Adults (ELA) is a year-round day program for individuals with disabilities who are 22 years and older. As a collaborative effort between Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA) and The Center for Enriched Living (The Center). ELA presents the best resources these two organizations have to offer. NSSRA and The Center each bring nearly 50 years of experience in serving people with disabilities to this exciting collaboration. ELA was created to enhance the quality of life and offer well-rounded daytime program options for adults with disabilities while providing a flexible schedule for families. For more information about the ELA Program visit

Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA) provides and facilitates year-round recreation programs and services for children, teens and adults with disabilities who live in the partner communities. NSSRA is an extension of ten park districts, two cities and one village in the northern suburbs of Chicago. This partnership includes the Park Districts of Deerfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Northbrook, Northfield, Wilmette and Winnetka; the Cities of Highwood and Lake Forest; and the Village of Riverwoods. NSSRA has been creating an environment of belonging through play since 1970, and has the distinction as the first Special Recreation Association in the country. For more information about NSSRA and the programs and services it provides, visit

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