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Go team! Members of eight Chicago-area Christian Reformed churches joined “Team Free a Family” as part of Chicago’s Soldier Field 10 Miler.

They either walked or ran along Chicago’s lakefront raise money for the Free a Family Program of the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC).

Gary Leo, a member of Orland Park (Ill.) CRC, organized the team, which raised $12,620. Leo plans to make this a yearly event and believes it will grow as more people hear about it.

Participating churches included Orland Park CRC, New Hope CRC in Lansing, Hope CRC in Oak Forest, Peace CRC in South Holland, Roseland CRC in Chicago, Calvin CRC in Oak Lawn, New Life CRC in New Lenox, and New Life CRC in Highland, Indiana.

Cindy Leistra, a member of New Hope, said it was exciting to join with 40-50 other CRWRC supporters running or walking, all wearing Free a Family shirts. The shirts had the CRWRC logo on the back along with the words “Living Justice, Loving Mercy.”

“CRWRC definitely had a presence on the Chicago lakefront that day,” she said.

Leo said, “Our shirts prompted people to ask about our team and CRWRC’s mission.”

The Soldier Field 10 Miler is an annual event limited to 10,000 runners and 3,000 walkers, held at the home field of the Chicago Bears football team. The 10-mile run finishes on the Bears’ 50 yard line.

CRWRC works with families and communities in some of the poorest place in the world. For more information about Free a Family, log on to

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