The Blues on Barton charity 5K and Kid's Fun Run is back for its fourth year, and will be benefiting the children of two local families who have recently lost a parent.
This year's beneficiaries include the Siebel and Sherrell children, whose families were both struck with tragedy in December 2015.
The death of 49-year-old Chuck Siebel made headlines across the Fox Valley after the father of two was killed by a drag racer while driving with his daughter in Aurora. Aurora police said two men were street racing at speeds up to 100 mph when one of the men struck Siebel's vehicle. Siebel's teenage daughter, Cassidy, was injured in the crash. Her father was killed.
Siebel is survived by his wife of 23 years, Julie; daughter Cassidy; and son Trey.
Blue's on Barton founder and organizer Justin Sather knows what it’s like to lose a parent. In 2014, Sather's mother died of brain cancer, which is why when the Sherrell family's nomination ended up in his inbox, he knew he needed to help.
Oswego mother of five, Maria Sherrell, was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer in July of 2014. She passed away in December 2015 at the age of 45, leaving behind her husband and children Johnny,13; Mariah, 16; Aaliyah,17; Alex, 22; and Vanessa, 25.
"It was hard for me to lose my mother, and I was 42 when she died," Sather said. "I can't imagine what it's like for these young kids to lose their mom."
Sather said what makes Blues on Barton different from most charity races is that those donating can see exactly where their money goes--into the hands of local families in need.
"When you physically hand a check to somebody who just had their child or parent die, you know you're really helping them out," Sather said. "I feel like I'm making a difference."
In memory of Sather's late mother who died of brain cancer, 10 percent of Blues on Barton donations are given to the American Brain Tumor Association.
This year's race will take place on Aug. 6 at Churchill Elementary School in Oswego. The event, which includes a 5K and a Kid's Fun Run, has raised more than $56,000 since becoming a charitable foundation three years ago. $5,000 of which has gone to the American Brain Tumor Association, and the remaining $51,000 donated to local families dealing with the loss of loved ones, battling cancer, or other debilitating illnesses.
For more information, and to learn about how Blues on Barton started as a backyard party and grew into a 5K which raises tens of thousands of dollars, visit www.bluesonbarton.org.