Chicago marathon runners
May 22, 2023

Committing to Health and Fitness: ‘We’ll Have Each Other to Lean On’

Tackling a marathon is more than just running. It’s a show of perseverance, community, generosity, and so much more — everything that the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago stands for.

In October, the Y had the privilege of serving as an official Charity Partner for the 2022 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, joining more than 170 nonprofit organizations to generate philanthropic support to advance our mission of connecting all people to their purpose, potential, and each other.

For the first time, the Y built our own running team, “Team YMCA,” made up of ten amazing and driven individuals, including staff, friends, and supporters of the Y.

Agneis Schultz, Vice President of Community Investment and Social Responsibility of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, a member of “Team YMCA” and a longtime long-distance runner, reflected on why she ran for Team Y: “When I am whole, I can be whole for my son, too. Running clears my head, is a confidence booster, and gives me an outlet for self-care. It’s an activity that provides space for mindfulness and empowers me to be even more present in other areas of my life.”

Along with running a 26.2-mile route, Team Y raised more than $1,000 per person, and with the help of our dedicated Y community, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago collectively raised more than $22,000, surpassing our original goal of $16,000! All of the funds will be used to create a healthier, more equitable Chicagoland and to ensure that the Y has the needed resources to care for the youth, families, and communities that we are privileged to serve. Equally as important, it helps ensure that no family is turned away from YMCA programs and services, regardless of their ability to pay.

By participating in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, not only did our team help drive philanthropic revenue to the Y, it also connected the organization with a well-known and signature Chicago event that deeply aligns with the Y’s commitment to health and fitness.

Team Y exemplified the resilience and endurance that we encourage in our Y communities. With our team, we hope to continue to inspire our community, positively impacting the lives of youth and families all across the Chicagoland area.

“Team YMCA is about so much more than training and raising funds,” said Katie Panning Spieth, Chief Impact Officer of the YMCA of Metro Chicago. “Through our perseverance and shared commitment to bettering our communities, we aim to serve as passionate ambassadors for the Y’s mission.”