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Charity Program

Charity running has become an integral part of the Life Time Chicago Half Marathon & 5K presented by HOKA, and we want to continue supporting your programs and the causes they focus on improving. Training for a half marathon is a challenge, and finding the right motivation is a great way to keep it fun and help athletes stay committed.

Prospective Charity Partners

The 2023 Life Time Chicago Half Marathon & 5K Charity Program application is available now. Please visit the link below for more information about the program and how to join.

We appreciate all of the charities that will be a part of race weekend and look forward to adding new and returning organizations to this amazing race.

2023 Charity Partners

American Brain Tumor Association

The mission of the American Brain Tumor Association is to advance the understanding and treatment of brain tumors with the goals of improving, extending and, ultimately, saving the lives of those impacted by a brain tumor diagnosis.

We do this through interactions and engagements with brain tumor patients and their families, collaborations with allied groups and organizations, and the funding of brain tumor research.



American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a leading cancer-fighting organization with a vision to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. We are improving the lives of people with cancer and their families as the only organization combating cancer through advocacy, research, and patient support, to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer.

Team DetermiNation is the American Cancer Society’s event endurance program, spanning a variety of sports including cycling, running, hiking, yoga, and more. The collective efforts of the dedicated athletes who use their fortitude to help raise funds to take down cancer are nothing short of amazing.

Beat The Streets Chicago

Beat The Streets Chicago believes every Chicago youth deserves access to wrestling, the world’s greatest sport and the single greatest vehicle for becoming a Life Champion. Our year-round programs are low-cost, open to all levels and available at multiple locations throughout Chicago. We welcome youth aged 5 through 23, whether they are looking for fun, physical literacy and wellness or something much deeper and life-changing. As the largest wrestling organization in Illinois, we reach over 2,500 young people each year. Even so, we function like a family. Every student-athlete who buys-in to our values-based culture can build positive relationships and make progress toward becoming a Life Champion, on and off the mat.



Big Shoulders Fund

Founded over 36 years ago by a group of business leaders, Big Shoulders Fund provides support to schools in Chicago and Northwest Indiana with demonstrated need which provide a quality, values-based education for Chicago’s children, thereby contributing to stronger communities. Big Shoulders Fund is unique in that our administrative expenses are supported by an endowment and other income. One hundred percent of funds currently raised support four major areas – scholarships and enrichment, operational improvements, academic programs, and leadership development – with the goal of not just strengthening schools, but whole communities, and preparing students for life-long success.



Chicago Children's Museum

When we play, we learn. We create. We strengthen and grow.

Celebrating 40 years as a Chicago cultural institution dedicated solely to young children and the important adults in their lives, Chicago Children’s Museum takes seriously its role as a national leader in developing original, play-based experiences that engage children in creative, collaborative learning.

For the last four decades, CCM has served as a place that provides arts programs, STEM experiences, and opportunities for imaginative play and joyful human connection to over 11 million children and their parents and caregivers.

Chicago Children’s Museum’s mission is to improve children’s lives by creating a community where play and learning connect.


Cure SMA

Cure SMA leads the way to a world where everyone impacted by spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is empowered to lead independent, successful, and fulfilling lives. We strive to create a community where every individual is heard and feels welcomed. Cure SMA provides practical support programs for our community and advocates for their needs. We fund and direct comprehensive research that drives breakthroughs in treatment and we advance access to high quality care. We will not stop until we have a cure.



Esperanza Health Centers

In 2004, residents of the neighborhoods of Pilsen and Little Village on Chicago’s Southwest Side joined administrators from nearby Saint Anthony Hospital to address the critical lack of accessible health services in the area. They opened a community health center on South California Avenue called Esperanza, the Spanish word for “hope.”

Since then, Esperanza has provided bilingual, high quality primary care, behavioral health and wellness services to the community, regardless of immigration status, insurance status, or ability to pay. Our five sites in Brighton Park, Little Village, Marquette Park, South Lawndale and West Lawn deliver care to more than 50,000 patients each year from communities across the Southwest Side.

Our commitment to offering care of the highest quality is made clear by our designation as a National Quality Leader by HRSA in 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2020, which ranks Esperanza among the top 3% of health centers in the nation and the top two in Illinois for our quality of care


Forging Youth Resilience

Forging Youth Resilience (FYR) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers young people to build physical and mental strength for life by providing access to a network of community-based fitness programs, nutrition education and mentorship.

We use fitness as a tool to teach imperative life skills like perseverance, grit, determination, resilience and confidence to prepare our athletes to face the challenges life throws their way with grace, maturity and strength.



Herbalife Nutrition Foundation

Herbalife Nutrition Foundation partners up with many charities and organizations to help provide the proper nutrition and education for the wellness of children and communities. The organization responds in the most of dire of crisis by contributing to disaster relief efforts around the world. HNF is in 59 countries.



LUNGevity Foundation

LUNGevity Foundation is firmly committed to making an immediate impact on increasing quality of life and survivorship of all people diagnosed with lung cancer by accelerating research into early detection and more effective treatments, as well as providing community, support, and education for all those affected by the disease.



Lustgarten Foundation

The Lustgarten Foundation is the largest private funder of the world’s preeminent pancreatic cancer researchers. Progress is paramount. We drive bold, innovative research with the singular mission: transforming pancreatic cancer into a curable disease. One hundred percent of all donations goes directly to pancreatic cancer research. Together we make a difference!


Mercy Home Heroes

Since 1887, Mercy Home has provided children and families with healing and tools to build brighter futures. It gives children who’ve experienced abuse, neglect, or violence a safe home, educational support, and career guidance. Because Mercy Home is nearly 100% privately funded, the Heroes fundraising program is critical to the mission.



National Ovarian Cancer Coalition - NOCC TEAM TEAL

The mission of the NOCC is to save lives through the prevention and cure of ovarian cancer and to improve quality of life for survivors and their caregivers. Since 2013, NOCC TEAM TEAL has made a difference in the lives affected by ovarian cancer through fundraising efforts that support early awareness, education, quality of life programs and research.



Parkinson's Foundation

The Parkinson’s Foundation makes life better for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) by improving care and advancing research toward a cure. In everything we do, we build on the energy, experience and passion of our global Parkinson’s community.

Parkinson’s Champions participate in the Parkinson’s Foundation’s community fundraising and endurance programs to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s disease (PD). Together, Parkinson’s Champions have hosted more than 150 annual community fundraisers across the country, run more than 15,000 miles and raised nearly $15 million to help make lives better for people living with Parkinson’s.



Project Purple

Project Purple is an impact-driven organization with a vision of a world without pancreatic cancer. Our mission is to find a cure for pancreatic cancer and improve the lives of patients through support, hope, and compassion.



Run For Central America

Our charity supports families in extreme poverty in Central America. El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.



Team One Step

Camp One Step provides FREE year-round camp experiences for kids with cancer and their families that foster joy, belonging, confidence, and lifelong friendships.

Our Mission & Programs:

A pediatric cancer diagnosis turns a child’s life upside down, and suddenly nothing feels normal for a child or their family. Hospital visits, ongoing treatments, financial challenges, and time away from school, sports, and friends becomes the new norm. Fear, anxiety, isolation, and loss of identity can create social and emotional scars, as children often begin to feel more like a cancer patient than a person.

Camp One Step exists to help heal these invisible scars that no one can see by offering free in-person and CONNECTED digital camp programs serving kids with cancer, survivors, and their families. Through our 10 in-person camps as well as our CONNECTED digital programs, children (ages birth – 19) and their families meet, bond, find understanding in shared experiences, and expand their network of support throughout the year. Inclusion, accessibility, connections and empowerment are core to our mission.

Camp is not just a place, it is a Community.

Camp One Step brings happiness, support, strength and hope to hundreds of children and families each year, and thanks to our community of campers, families, over 400 volunteers, and generous supporters, the magic of camp can be felt anytime, anywhere.




TEAM TO END AIDS (T2)’s mission is to improve the lives of those who are living with or vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, by raising critical funds to support the programs of AIDS Foundation Chicago. Through endurance sports, T2 raises awareness, reduces stigma, empowers participants and encourages action to create health equity across Chicagoland.



The Anti-Cruelty Society

Team Anti-Cruelty raises funds and awareness for The Anti-Cruelty Society, the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive animal welfare organization in Chicago. As an open door to compassion, ACS welcomes and provides care for any animal in need. In addition to adoption services, ACS provides community support to keep people and their pets together through safety net services such as pop-up pet food pantries, emergency pet boarding, senior pet owner support, and community education programs. The Anti-Cruelty Society also conducts neglect and animal cruelty investigations in the Chicago area, and offers a free behavior helpline, low cost spay/neuter clinic, and charity veterinary clinic.



The Network

The Network: Advocating Against Domestic Violence is a membership organization dedicated to improving the lives of those impacted by gender-based violence through education, public policy and advocacy, and connecting community members with direct service providers. Joining our Run DV Out of Town team is an opportunity to fundraise and advocate for survivors and victims of domestic violence.


Fundraising Made Easy

There are a number of creative and functional ways you can make the fundraising effort tremendously successful for your charity. The most common and effective way is by setting up a fundraising pledge program where runners collect pledges and donations based on the completion of their race. As the charity, you would obtain the race entry on behalf of the individual (at a certain value), and the individual in turn raises a minimum of “X dollars” for your charity to be able to earn that entry to the half marathon.

As an example, charities tend to ask for pledges ranging from a minimum of $200 up to $3,000. Depending on the minimum pledge, charities create packages that include travel arrangements (hotels, airfare, etc.), shirts, pre and post race meals, and training/coaching programs. Each charity has the option to develop a program according to your goals, resources and expected participants. We can help provide you with ideas and opportunities, but the implementation and collection of the fundraising program is up to the charity and its participants.

How do runners find out that a charity is affiliated with the Chicago Half Marathon?
Recruiting participants to fundraise is generally done through your communication channels and database of contacts. However, we will promote your charity through our website and direct interested runners to research our partner charities or those who support causes which they may have a specific interest in.


The Chicago Half Marathon is the only race in Chicago that gets to close down Lake Shore Drive completely between 67th Street and 31st Street. It is one of the coolest things to be able to run on one of the nation’s most famous and scenic roads. By having the road completely closed it makes for a very safe race with no traffic buzzing by participants. With this comes a price as all participants must maintain a 16-minute mile pace. This pace goes into effect as soon as the last participant crosses the start line which takes about 20 minutes.

For any charity participant that can’t maintain the 16-minute pace, they will be guided onto the lakefront path in five different locations along Lake Shore Drive. The path will be completely supported with aid stations including water, restrooms, mile markers, medical personnel and course marshals directing the participants. The finish line will remain open for those on the path until 11:30 a.m. We hope you will be able to train your participants to a 16-minute pace, but for those who just can’t do it they have an option. Please make sure all your participants are fully aware of the pace and the rules.

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