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Fun, fundraising no fairy tale at Dewey Dash

ELBURN - Matt Miller wouldn't describe his family as a clan of runners.

But for the last three years, Miller, of Elburn, said, his family, including his wife, Tania, and three young children, Calvin, Delaney and Eli, have carved out time to take part in the Dewey Dash fundraiser 1-mile and 5K walk and run, benefiting Elburn's Town and Country Public Library.

"We use the library all the time, we love it," said Miller. "So anything we can do, to give them a little hand, we're happy to help.

"And, besides, this is just fun."

Sunday morning, while Miller was "on sideline photo duty," his wife, Tania, and the couple's three children were among the more than 250 runners and walkers who participated in the ninth annual running of the Dewey Dash.

Mary Lynn Alms, director of the Town and Country Library District, said the event's organizers believed Sunday's race could be among the largest in the event's history.

Registrations were still being accepted Sunday morning, but 216 participants had preregistered online in the days leading up to the race, Alms said.

By the beginning of the race Sunday, organizers estimated an additional 40-50 racers had signed up that morning to run.

Last year, amid miserable weather conditions, just 203 racers in total participated, Alms said.

She credited promising weather forecasts, which had called for high temperatures around 65-70 degrees Sunday, with helping to draw in what could rank as the second largest number of participants since more than 300 ran and walked in the first Dewey Dash nine years ago.

Alms said the event typically raises about $4,000-$5,000 to help the library pay for technology purchases. This year, the library intends to use the money to pay for new computers and printers.

Most participants, like the Millers, live in Elburn or nearby communities. But a few come from points more distant.

Mother and daughter Michelle and Julia Niemeyer, for instance, came from Oak Lawn to participate. They said they were drawn to the event by its theme, "Once Upon a Run," for which participants were encouraged to dress as fairy tale characters.

Some runners dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter and Winnie the Pooh. Tiaras and tutus were present in abundance.

As for the Niemeyers, mother Michelle dressed as "just a fairy," while daughter Julia, 7, dressed as Alice from Alice in Wonderland.

"The finish line will be the white rabbit I'm chasing," Julia said, with a wry smile.


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