“One of his mantras was ‘doing nothing, not an option.’ And that’s really what we picked up on,” said Ann Marie Papanos.
Yesterday, a new walk took off – “Walk On!” in memory of late park manager Chuck Papanos. He died last year from T-cell lymphoma. As he was going through treatments and clinical trials, he and his wife knew they wanted to help with continued research.
“Everybody wants to do something for Chuck. He impacted so many lives,” said Ann Marie, Chuck’s wife. “If we can take what he went through and if it helps even just one other person, that will be beneficial. And that was so important to him, that we could pay it forward.”
The Naperville walk helped raise funds for non-profit, Lymphoma Research Foundation. Raising awareness was another goal. Every five minutes, one person in the U.S. is diagnosed with lymphoma.
To help in that fight, participants stepped off at the Riverwalk Grand Pavilion. Many of them were Chuck’s friends from the city.
“Chuck was the quiet hero behind all of the fundraising events that happened here on the Riverwalk,” said Jan Erickson, former Riverwalk administrator. He met people personally, the organizers for the different events here. Sometimes at 5 a.m. in the morning.”
Chuck was the Naperville Park District’s north parks and Riverwalk operations manager for 19 years. Earlier yesterday afternoon, the park district also held a dedication ceremony at the garden planted in his honor.
As of this report, “Walk On!” raised almost $39,000 for lymphoma research. The plan is for the walk to be an annual event.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ.
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