Friday night on the Riverwalk, 200 people came out for an evening walk to honor a Naperville man who touched many hearts in the community.
“Today we have the Walk On in memory of Chuck Papanos, and it’s benefiting the Lymphoma Research Foundation,” said Walk On Founder and Chuck’s wife, Ann Marie Papanos.
“Chuck worked for the Park District for over nineteen years,” shared Papanos. “He was the manager of the Riverwalk and the North Parks for the Park District and very much a member of the community and very involved in the community. He served on the Riverwalk Commission.”
In July of 2020, Chuck Papanos lost his battle to a rare cancer called T-cell lymphoma.
“We wanted to come up with a way to pay it forward. He was a recipient of the clinical trials and other people’s research and we wanted to be sure that we can pay it forward. And Lymphoma Research Foundation provided a lot of education to us throughout his battle, and so we decided to partner with them and raise funds for further research, which is very much needed,” said Papanos.
After Chuck’s death, Ann Marie reached out to the Lymphoma Research Foundation to help launch the walk. They were happy to help.
What is T-Cell Lymphoma?
“Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer, and the Lymphoma Research Foundation’s mission is to eradicate lymphoma and serve those touched by the disease. So we’re just so grateful to Ann Marie and her amazing committee for this second-year event to benefit the foundation,” said senior manager of Stewardship for the Lymphoma Research Foundation Dana Bork.
The event included auctions, giveaways, and of course a nice mile and a half walk.
“We’re going to leave right behind this stage, it’s going to start in the cul de sac and then it’s a one and half mile walk and if people want to walk further, they can walk it twice and get in three miles. We’ll have directional signage and a water stop at the midway point,” said Papanos.
The turnout and commitment to the cause was a true tribute to the man once referred to as the “quiet hero” of the Riverwalk.
“I know that he would just be amazed, and no one’s surprised because they’re just really giving back to what he gave them. But I’m just so thankful to everybody who’s given anything to this event: volunteered, participated on the committee and just even coming in to volunteer for the day of as well,” said Pananos.
Naperville News 17 Patrick Codo Reports.