Miles for Smiles

The Illinois Marathon is back!

Since 2009, runners and walkers participating in the Illinois Marathon have made their miles count by dedicating their races to Crisis Nursery and asking friends and family to donate to the organization on their behalf. These friends of the Nursery are our Miles for Smiles Team FundRacers!

Whether you're running the mile, 5K, 10K, an I-Challenge, half, or full marathon, consider joining our Miles for Smiles Team and give new purpose to your training by raising money for Crisis Nursery! In addition to completing your race goal, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping children and families in our community who have nowhere else to turn.

The money you raise will go towards our Safe Children and Strong Families programs. When at full capacity, it costs $2,500 a day to keep the Nursery open. Our yearly goal for Miles for Smiles is to raise enough to support a week at the Nursery! We encourage you to set an individual goal that you feel is appropriate and comfortable for you. Consider setting your sights high and sponsoring A Day at the Nursery by raising $2,500!

The Perks:

• Discounted race registration (Contact Naomi Whitman at 217.337.2731 or at for details)
• Campaign tips and letter templates
• For every $50 you raise as part of our Miles for Smiles team, your name will be entered into a drawing supported by local businesses! No purchase necessary. All FundRacers are eligible to receive 1 entry when you share this Facebook post.

Get Started Today:

1) Visit our Crisis Nursery Race Roster Fundraising Page to get started. Click “Register for event" on the right side of the screen and follow the prompts. You will be asked to register with Race Roster first. Afterwards, you can join a team under our fundraising page or start your own team! Either way you will be able to customize your personal fundraising page with your photo, goal, and more.
2) Watch for a welcome packet in your email from our Development & Events Specialist, Naomi.
3) Invite family, friends, and colleagues to support your training and fundraising efforts. Find specific ideas in your welcome packet!

4) Train for and run your race!
5) Feel great about finishing your race, and all the smiles you've helped bring to a child’s face!

Marching Illini Sousaphones

Barry Houser, Director of the Marching Illini, and members of the Marching Illini Sousaphones joined our Miles for Smiles Team in 2016 and have raised more than $16,000 dollars for the Nursery. Each year the Sousaphones set a goal to "Make Barry Run." Once they reach that goal, Director Barry Houser joins them in the 5K. In 2018 they even got University of Illinois Director of Athletics, Josh Whitman, to join them in their run by reaching their goal of $6,500! "The physical challenge of running a 5K with a 40 pound souspahone is no comparison to the challenge many of our local children and families face on a daily basis," Houser said. "It is in thanks to the work and ongoing assistance of the 'Island of Safety' created by Crisis Nursery, that we continue to run this 5K. We are more than happy to assist in preventing and creating further awareness of child abuse prevention. Thank you for allowing us to TEAM up with you!"

A BIG THANKS to the Marching Illini Sousaphones for their continued support!

24-Hour Crisis Line