“As a community, we were able to raise a whopping $1,364 for diabetes research!” proclaimed Chatfield High School junior and American Diabetes Association walk organizer Kadin Hill, proud to have volunteered his time to make the arrangements for Chatfield’s first-ever walk to fund diabetes research, held Saturday, April 2, in honor of one of his good friends.
Kadin, son of Craig and Karla Hill and a guy found to be ready to help anyone when volunteer opportunities arise, related that in spite of the extremely windy, chilly April weather, there was a great turnout at the walk and 5K run held in Groen Park. The runners rose bright and early, ran their 5 kilometers and came back to warm up, after which the walkers chose to make two very quick rounds of the Groen Park hiking trail and return to the shelter to thaw.
“The wind and cold temperatures were clearly the biggest challenges of the day. I was concerned about the weather, but my parents told me not to worry, and our situation was bettered when we moved registration and concessions into my grandpa’s enclosed trailer,” he said. “There were 31 people who competed in the 5K and approximately 45 to 50 people walked. Many of the participants were fellow Chatfield cross-country teammates and their parents – no surprise there. I felt proud to see the whole event occurring, and inspired by all the people who came out to support the cause. I had put considerable effort into making sure the morning ran as smooth as possible.”
Hill was inspired to organize the walk when he learned of the struggles that his friend, who is among the 29 million people who deal with the effects of diabetes every day, endures. That meant weeks of working with the Chatfield City Council, the administration at the high school, contacting the American Diabetes Association for guidelines on how to make an idea for a walk into a reality and finding out how to motivate friends and family to get walking to fund diabetes research – because as the hot pink t-shirts they bought to raise the funds stated, “Diabetics are naturally sweet people.”
Now that the walk is over, he reflected on the accomplishment.
“I put a lot of my time and hard work into organizing the benefit. There is much ‘behind the scenes’ work that even I didn’t think about when I started. It was all worth it, though, to have the knowledge that I made a positive impact on our community and my friend,” said Hill. “I felt proud to see the whole event occurring, and inspired by all the people who came out to support the cause. I am very happy and proud of the amount that our small town was able to raise. And the most rewarding part of being there was talking with the people and thanking them for coming. I do feel that people in Chatfield are now more aware of the large impact diabetes has on a person and their family.”
Hill expressed his appreciation to area businesses that donated to his effort. “The businesses were very gracious and donated supplies, food or gift cards. “I believe in supporting our local businesses,” he said.
He also appreciated the community members who purchased hot pink t-shirts, volunteered and participated in the walk/run, and especially his parents, his grandparents, Bob and Karen Twohey, and cross-country coach Chris Frye for their assistance and support along the way.
Now that Hill has seen the success of his idea, he’s already considering what he can do to continue to make a difference.
“When I began planning this event, I wasn’t expecting to make it an annual event. However, after receiving positive feedback and interest from many friends and family, I am considering doing something similar next year,” he said. “However, I would like to include another great friend…who is afflicted with Crohn’s disease, and find a way to organize a joint benefit for diabetes and Crohn’s.”
And that’s a selfless volunteer who’s thinking ahead with a satisfied smile on his face.