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Druley: Marathon best of both worlds for Kappele

Published: Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 5:32 a.m. CST

St. Charles’ Amy Kappele aspires to blend brains and brawn in her everyday life.

She’s a reading specialist at Davis Primary School in St. Charles by day, and an avid runner by early morning and/or night.

At the fourth annual Advocate Dreyer Fox Valley Marathon on Sept. 22, Kappele will consider herself the best of both worlds. She’s competing in the half-marathon to benefit Bernie’s Book Bank, which collects and redistributes books to at-risk children in the Chicago region.

“I’m trying to put the two together to support kids right in our backyard and Chicagoland because we have kids that need it,” Kappele said. “They need these books.”

Kappele, a former basketball and soccer athlete at St. Charles High, pledged to run one half-marathon a month in 2013 as a fundraiser for the Lake Forest-based book bank. She set a goal of $3,000, or 12,000 books – it costs 25 cents to collect, process and redistribute a book – and has raised $781 so far.

Kappele runs through Team Bernie, a walking, running, biking and swimming club named for Bernard Floriani, the late father of Brian Floriani, the book bank’s executive director since the organization’s December 2009 inception.

District 303 has held all-district book drives to benefit the bank, as well, collecting more than 23,000 books in 2011-12 and more than 33,000 books in 2012-13. The bank serves more than 75,000 children from birth to sixth grade and is on track to reach its goal of distributing more than 1 million high-quality books this year.

“If you wouldn’t give it to your child, then we wouldn’t give it to someone else’s child,” Kappele said.

Kappele has yet to finalize her half-marathon destinations for October, November and December, but has plans in place, especially for her 2013 swan song.

“I’m hoping it might be somewhere warm, but I’m not sure yet,” Kappele said. “But I’m going to finish, because I’ve done this many already.”

Cooler by the pool: The Norris Center pool underwent improvements to dehumidification equipment in the winter of 2011, and the work continues paying dividends for St. Charles swimmers.

In past years, St. Charles East coach Joe Cabel said coping with Monday and Tuesday’s 90-plus degree temperatures would have been an against-the-current endeavor.

Not anymore. Instead of things feeling “about 115 [degrees]” in the natatorium, per Cabel, temperatures are much more tolerable.

“They say it’s not air conditioning, but it stays 85 degrees 365 days a year,” Cabel said. “The humidity is always the same. So whatever they do …”

Touch ’em all: Kenny Socorro morphed into a player-coach during the stretch run of the Midwest League season, making two relief appearances for the Cougars as the club enacted its ability to activate its fourth coach when in need.

Drafted by the parent Cubs as a shortstop in the 44th round in 2011, Socorro first played for Cougars manager Mark Johnson at Short-A Boise. Their relationship was solid enough where Johnson brought Socorro to his staff when right hamstring and right ankle injuries derailed Socorro’s playing career in 2012.

Socorro, 24, plans to go to scouting school this offseason in a bid to stay in the game.

“He’s bilingual [English and Spanish], and he can do things on the field and he can do things off the field,” Johnson said. “He’s got some opportunities.”

• Kevin Druley is a sportswriter for the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5347 or kdruley@shawmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @kevindruley.

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