‘Team Rosecrance’ completes Chicago 5K

Rosecrance employees gather one last time for the annual Ignite the Spirit 'Run for the Kids 5K' July 16 at Solider Field in Chicago.

Rosecrance employees gather one last time for the annual Ignite the Spirit ‘Run for the Kids 5K’ July 16 at Solider Field in Chicago.

The rain didn’t stop Team Rosecrance from completing the 2015 Run for the Kids 5K on July 16.

The race is organized annually by Ignite the Spirit, an organization launched in 2003 by Chicago firefighters in response to the attacks of 9/11 and to help the families of first responders. Rosecrance helps sponsor the event and has been involved since 2012.

According to Ignite the Spirit’s website, this was the final year for the race. Heavy rain delayed the race’s start, but Rosecrance employees were some of the 302 participants to complete the run/walk near Soldier Field.

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About 20 people participated as part of Team Rosecrance. This was Cristina Gloria’s third time running the Ignite the Spirit race. Gloria, a mental health clinician at the Rosecrance Ware Center, described the experience as the “cheeriest” to her heart.

“This type of event running for a team promotes unity and camaraderie between coworkers,” Gloria said. “It gives us the opportunity to know more about ourselves and the opportunity to give our best to represent our ‘Team Rosecrance.’”

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Cristina Gloria, mental health clinician at the Rosecrance Ware Center.

Several Rosecrance staff members placed individually, as well. Gloria, an avid runner, finished the race with a time of 27:42. She’s one of the team’s best cheerleaders and leads regular Wednesday evening runs/walks in Rockford with her coworkers.

“During these three years, I have seen some of my coworkers progressing from walking to running without stopping, and seeing their smiles at the finish line is priceless,” Gloria said. “Having our coworkers there cheering and encouraging is an amazing feeling.

“I want to thank Rosecrance for giving us this great opportunity to participate in an event like this to represent our organization with pride.”