Fifth-grade triathlete raises money for his teachers
Updated: October 7, 2012 6:24AM
Fifth-grader Jonathan Winters has literally gone the distance for his Notre Dame teachers. The 10-year-old swam 100 meters, biked 3 miles and ran a 1-kilometer race in the Chicago Kids Triathlon Aug. 25, and in the process he raised more than $900 for Notre Dame Academy’s Teacher Endowment Fund.
This was Winters’ first-ever triathlon, too.
“I thought it was actually really fun. If I was asked to do it again, I would,” Winters said.
Every part of the event appealed to him — swimming in Lake Michigan, running in a large crowd of other kids, rushing to his bike and having his family there to cheer him on. He completed the course in 24 minutes and was pleased with that result. Winters said there were 128 kids in his age category, which is impressive in and of itself, and he finished somewhere around 50th. Not bad at all considering he is a triathlon newbie.
The Chicago Kids Triathlon is a part of the Time Life Chicago Triathlon, which does not in and of itself raise money for any one cause but through one of its sponsors, Janus Funds’ Janus Charity Challenges, it assists participants in organizing a fundraising effort. Winters and his family thought the Notre Dame Teacher’s Endowment Fund would be a worthy cause as it is used to supplement the teachers’ annual incomes, which are dictated by the Chicago Archdiocese, with a yearly bonus based on funds raised.
Initially Winters asked friends and neighbors to sponsor his race but then the word spread throughout the Notre Dame school community, which is why his fundraising was so successful.
Winters has been a member of Notre Dame’s cross country team and has swam with the Clarendon Hills Lions Park Pool swim team, the Sea Lions, for a couple of summers now. And, like just about every elementary kid the area, he has been biking forever. It’s entirely possible this fifth-grader has found a new athletic pursuit in triathlons and it is commendable that he looks to support his own community through his efforts.
With so many regular crowd-drawing seasonal community “events” like the football games at Hinsdale Central and the Merchant’s Garage Sale on Saturday, don’t overlook other such annual events as the Corn Fest at Graue Mill, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. The Corn Fest is from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, with free admission, and considering how tough the drought has been on corn crops, it might be time to pay homage to this valuable grain.
Another family favorite is the Fall Family Fest from 4-7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, which the Clarendon Hills Park District hosts annually in Prospect Park, with all kinds of activities for kids of all ages.
Psssttt to those of you who don’t know their apps from their elbows: The Hinsdale Public Library is hosting several weeks of Drop-In Tech Tuesdays for adults to stop by between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. on specific Tuesdays to learn about such prevalent yet potentially baffling technical topics like “apps” and “e-readers” and social media. Visit www.hinsdalelibrary.info for specific dates and information.
The Youth Center on Symonds Drive in Hinsdale holds its Back to School bash from 7-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, for the middle school-age set to enjoy a chaperoned party with DJ and all the amenities of the Youth Center. Visit www.thecommunityhouse.org for more information.