Main Street Highland Park’s staff and board members have added one more reason why Highland Park’s 5K Race is known statewide as a community event with soul. This year the race is honoring the life of Franco Juricic, who died on March 6, 2019 from pancreatic cancer.
As in years past, the 5k registration fees and sponsorship proceeds are donated to Highland Park’s community groups, including: the Highland Park Library, Recreation Department, Fire Department, First Aid Squad, and Police Department. For the 2019 Highland Park 5K, an additional charity – pancreatic cancer research – will benefit from the generosity of Highland Park residents through a separate fundraising effort spearheaded by the 5k Race Committee and Main Street.
Franco Juricic and his whole family have been 5k runners since the beginning 11 years ago. Franco was a big runner, and he always ran the race (and so did his wife Jackie). His 12-year-old twin children also have run the race for the past few yers.
In honor of Franco’s devotion to running, to the Highland Park 5k and the Highland Park community in general, Main Street started an online fundraiser for a charity to which Franco was devoted, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PANCAN). The link to the HP5k Franco Fundraiser is here: https://www.facebook.com/donate/557382658081065/557382671414397/
“One of the very first things I did when I first started working at Main Street was work with Franco on a Pancreatic Cancer awareness campaign he was doing, getting the downtown businesses to put posters and purple ribbons in their stores. He was a gem of a human,” said Main Street Executive Director Rebecca Hersh.
“We’re going to keep the fundraiser going until the 5k race on Sunday May 5, so we’d love to spread the word. We want everyone to know how much Franco meant to the Highland Park 5k,” said Ms. Hersh
Dark purple is also the Pancreatic Cancer Awareness color, so the logo, t-shirts, and backpacks are in dark purple, to honor Franco. The organizers want the race to be a sea of purple.
A PANCAN information and fundraising table will be at the 5k race finish line and at the Street Fair after the race.
The link to the 5k registration page is: www.runinthepark.org. There’s mention of the PANCAN fundraiser on the home page, too.