Work Samples

  • Megann Horstead

Annual Titan Trot 5K benefits St. Mary educators


It was fitting that community members came out by the hundreds to participate in the third annual Titan Trot 5K and Dash—an event raising funds to support St. Mary Catholic School teachers. So often educators do not get the credit they deserve.

“It’s just an incentive for the teachers,“ event chairwoman Jamie Kucala said. “They’re hardworking, dedicated.”

Kucala said the race also serves as a great way to build community.

“We thought this would be a good way to get the family and children all involved,” Kucala said.

Roughly 300 people signed up to run in this year’s race at Willowview Park. Carleen Hilty, of Mokena, was preparing to hit the racecourse running in the Titan Trot.

“[I] do this for fun,” she said.

This year was Hilty’s third consecutive year participating in the run. She said it was important for her to show support for St. Mary teachers.

“All my kids went to St. Mary,” she said. “My last one graduated last year.”

Hilty said it’s nice to see so many familiar faces at the run.

“All the families are local,” she said. “It’s kind of fun to see everybody.”

Shawn O’Malley, of New Lenox, said he enjoys competing in the race.

“It’s a hard course because it’s hilly,” he said.

O’Malley’s oldest child graduated from St. Mary’s and his younger son, Emerson, is currently enrolled in the eighth grade.

O’Malley said holding the run is a good idea that benefitted the children.