3rd annual Skerston Fundraiser to be held Oct. 14


Akari Oya

2016 5K winners pose with a picture of Skerston. This year’s event will take place Oct. 14. Runners, walkers and volunteers are needed.

Martha Hoffman, Editor-In-Chief

The 3rd annual Connie Dzierzynski Skerston Scholarship Fundraiser will be held Saturday, Oct. 14 at 10 a.m. at IVCC’s Oglesby campus.

The annual event is in honor of Skerston, who served 16 years in administration at IVCC and passed away unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm in 2015. It supports scholarships for IVCC students entering service fields such as nursing, administration and counseling.

There are two events to choose from. The timed 5K run/walk takes place on a mixed running surface with men’s and women’s awards in different age groups. Connie’s Path is a 1.5-mile untimed walk that welcomes strollers.

The entry fee is $25 for either event if received by Oct. 7 or $30 afterwards. You can register by mail using a check and forms found on campus bulletin boards or in person on race day from 8-9:30 a.m.

Additionally, the fundraiser will include a silent auction and 50/50 drawing.

The race also needs volunteers in order to run smoothly.

Skerston’s daughter, Amber Dzierzynski, wrote about what the fundraiser means for the organizers.

“Our hope for this event is to celebrate the joy of paying it forward,” Dzierzynski said. “Connie understood that our community may be small, but we are surrounded by giving individuals and opportunities to make real differences in our own lives and those of our neighbors with simple acts.

“This event is a chance to make a simple act that will better your own physical wellness and discipline while also contributing to the community around you.”

She said that the past two fundraisers have raised enough money to create an endowment for the scholarship, ensuring its lasting legacy.

Mark Gryzbowski, Associate Vice President for Student Services at IVCC, worked with Skerston for eight years.

Gryzbowksi said the 5K is a perfect event to honor her because of its social aspect and purpose to help students because she is remembered for both things.

“Personally, participating in the walk is one of the ways in which I am able to say ‘thank you’ to her for her friendship and trust in me,” said Gryzbowski.

“Professionally, keeping her memory alive each year by participating in an event aimed at raising scholarship funds for students is something I am proud to be able to play a role in.

“Each year, my hope is that the event encourages all walks of life to participate; from community members and friends of the college to IVCC students, faculty, staff and administration because at the end of the day, it is about doing something to help students succeed.”

If you have any questions, want raffle tickets or would like to volunteer to help, contact Betty Dzierzynski at [email protected] or (815) 664-2236.