New Site Spotlight – Bluffs Elementary

We can’t wait to register some Bluffs Blue Jays for our very first GOTR team in Scott County! Andrea Gumbel, head coach and site liaison at Bluffs Community School, heard about Girls on the Run through family in the Chicago area, “Two younger cousins have participated in the program for two years and we were all able to see what a great impact GOTR had on each of them.” Later, while shopping at the Running Center in Springfield she saw a GOTR t-shirt, and her heart became set on bringing the program to their school.

Coach Gumbel felt that regardless of the small size of the town and district, the girls should not miss out on learning the valuable life lessons, particularly the elements of the program that help young girls build confidence in themselves. Similarly, Sara Gregory, a parent from Bluffs Community school, expressed her excitement about the new program, “As a parent of an 8 year old daughter I am looking forward to the positive challenges, the lessons to teach girls they can be themselves and not worry about what others think of them and also challenge them to get active at the same time.”

Bluffs Community School may be small – currently serving 250 students in grades pre-k through 12 – but we know they will pack a punch!  We’ll look forward to seeing our Bluffs Blue Jays at the Girls on the Run 5k, Saturday, May 17th at Lincoln Land Community College.

Welcome to our new Program Manager!

We are excited to announce a new addition to the Girls on the Run team! Christi Huss has joined the staff as Program Manager and will be the primary point of contact for coaches, practice partners, and site liaisons.

After witnessing many devastating and preventable cases during her five years in the field of orthopedic surgery, Christi decided to further her education in the area of Health and Wellness in hopes of encouraging the next generation to adopt healthier and more fulfilling lifestyles. She began coaching soccer through the YMCA and became a practice partner and coach with Girls on the Run. Since completing her Bachelors in Exercise Science from Millikin University, her passion for helping today’s youth strive to reach their full potential has continued to grow. In addition to surgery, her previous work experience includes program design and implementation, special event planning, and volunteer coordination. She is excited to be joining the Girls on the Run team in this role.

Christi enjoys any type of outdoor activities, taking random road trips, game nights with family and friends, being part of the West Side Christian Church community, and coaching youth soccer. The team she coaches is affectionately named the “Sidekix” and they are currently in their tenth season together. In her spare time she is also a certified personal trainer and loves to encourage others in their health and fitness goals. Christi currently lives in Springfield with her husband Chad and daughter Bella – a future Girl on the Run for sure!

Wanted: Amazing Coaches! Sign-up now for spring

How can you empower girls for a lifetime? 

Step up to the plate, and become a coach! If you’re looking to make an impact on the next generation of women, be more active and have fun, sign up to help coach this spring. Being a runner is not a prerequisite, and the GOTR staff provides all materials and training so coaches can effectively lead the program. Our Coaches change lives, but best of all, they have fun doing it!

Sign up to Coach HERE

The spring season will begin in early March and conclude with the spring 5k on May 17th. Lessons are held two times per week and are one hour and 15 minutes in length. Coaches are encouraged to participate in both weekly lessons, but can choose to commit to only one lesson per week. Program start times vary from site to site (2:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.).

First-time coaches must attend one New Coach Training session, which are scheduled throughout February; we also include the option of free CPR and First Aid training to ensure coaches are well-prepared for the GOTR coaching experience. To let us know that you are interested in coaching, please complete this  volunteer form. After receiving your form, we’ll contact you to match you with a school site. If you have questions, please email our program manager, Courtney Davies.

Come see the real deal! Molly Barker – Founder of Girls on the Run

Our Fourth Annual Breaking Out of the Box and 10th Anniversary Celebration is coming up and we hope you will join us for this special occasion!

Join Molly Barker, founder of Girls on the Run, and us as we celebrate 10 years of bringing confidence and healthy lifestyles to local girls and families!

Saturday, February 8
6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Illinois Executive Mansion
4th and Jackson Streets, downtown Springfield

Come celebrate and learn how our program is expanding in central Illinois, helping girls activate their personal power and embrace their individuality!

Click here to purchase event tickets or raffle tickets.

Our 2014 raffle includes an iPad Mini, case and $25 iTunes gift card – over $375 value! Winner will be drawn at event, need NOT be present to win. Raffle ticket prices are one for $20 or three for $50.

For additional event information or to purchase tickets, click here.

GOTR Welcomes New Board Members

Board of Directors news & updates

Girls on the Run is pleased to welcome three new board members to our team! Patty Hale, Jennifer Stice and Valerie Woodrum joined the Board of Directors in July and each one brings their unique skills, talents and perspective to our growing program.

Patty Hale has been a Girls on the Run coach for five seasons at various program sites in Jacksonville. Patty enjoys giving her time to the program because of the life skills it provides to young girls at her local elementary schools. “The girls learn the benefits of exercise, making good choices and feeling awesome about themselves,” Patty said. Patty is also a chemistry lab instructor at Illinois College and enjoys spending time with her family and fostering rescue dogs.

Jennifer Stice also became involved with our organization through volunteering as a coach in our previous spring season. Jennifer is from Ashland, IL and said, “I am passionate about leadership for young women and promoting good health and fitness.” She is an assistant vice president/senior trust officer at Town & Country Bank and also enjoys spending time with family friends, photography and working out.

Valerie Woodrum is a branch manager/AVP with Illinois National Bank and became involved with our program when her daughter signed up at their local elementary school. Valerie has completed our last two 5k events with her daughter and enjoys the time they spend running together at home. When Valerie was asked what attracted her to Girls on the Run, she said, “I love GOTR! The program offers so many positive ways to love yourself and others, while also teaching the importance of volunteering and the benefits of exercise.”

Karen Carlson has also been elected to serve as chair of the board for 2013-14, replacing Girls on the Run Founder Deb Shultz, who will serve as past chair. Karen is director of Public Relations and Communications at SIU School of Medicine. She has been involved with Girls on the Run since 2003. Other board members for 2013-14 include Bethany Jaeger, Tammie Klein, Jamie Kuhlmann, Kristy Martin and Mary Warren. Thank you to all of our board members and volunteers who give their time to support our girls!

Dueling Pianos- Tickets are on sale now!

Dueling Pianos- Tickets are on sale now!

Join us for the event of the season! Cool 2 Duel dueling piano performers will be in Springfield for one night only on Saturday, September 28th.  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to have a great time with other Girls on the Run supporters while Cool 2 Duel entertains the energetic audience and even makes them a part of the show! Appetizers will be provided along with a cash bar.
Saturday, September 28th
8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. (Doors open at 7:30)

KC Hall- 2200 S. Meadowbrook Rd, Springfield, IL

Single Ticket- $30
Two for $50
Table of 8- $250

Tickets are on sale now! Click here to purchase online!
Or contact Kelsey at 217-726-9808 or
Thank you to our event sponsors:
Pat Kelley & Tammie Klein- Solo Sponsor
Kerber, Eck & Braekel LLP- Duet Sponsor
Illinois National Bank- Duet Sponsor

Register now for our Fall Program!

Register now for our Fall Program!

Girls on the Run wants to help make this fall spectacular for your girl – she will make friends, build confidence and gain lifelong skills to help take on the new year! Online registration is now open for our fall program season, so make sure to visit our website and get your girl

Online registration will be open from 8:00 a.m. Monday, August 12th through Wednesday, August 28th. Importantly, teams are limited to 15 participants and registration will be first come, first serve. Don’t miss out on getting your girl involved this fall.We are also excited to announce the addition of two community sites, open to ANY girl in the area. Please find the information for these sites below and register early as spots are limited! Interested in seeing which other sites are participating this fall? View our list of fall sites.

  • Downtown YMCA (Springfield) Mondays & Wednesdays (5:30 – 6:45)
  • Southwind Park (Springfield) Tuesdays & Thursdays (5:00 – 6:15)

Don’t miss the 2nd Annual Dueling Pianos event!

Our highly anticipated return of Dueling Pianos event will take place Saturday, September 28th – Tickets coming soon!

Email for sponsorship information.

Volunteer with our Fundraising and Event Leadership Committee

Interested in volunteer opportunities with Girls on the Run other than becoming a program coach? Consider joining the Fundraising and Event Leadership Committee (FELC)! The FELC is a team of young professionals committed to planning and coordinating various fundraisers to raise funds for Girls on the Run of Central Illinois. The committee has hosted some great events to engage our community in the mission of Girls on the Run, and just to have fun! The committee meets one evening per month and only requires a couple hours outside of that meeting each month to help plan the next fundraiser.

FELC has organized Celebrity Bartender Happy Hours, Silent Auctions, Casual Days, and the popular Dueling Piano’s event. Want to learn more? Contact us at for more information.

Join us for “Guys Vs. Dolls” Happy Hour at Brickhouse!

Mark your calendar for a fun, friendly competition. This happy hour event with our celebrity ‘guys’ and ‘dolls’ bartenders! We’ll see who can raise more scholarship funds during their time behind the bar… the ‘guys’… or the ‘dolls’!

Thursday, July 25th, 
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Brickhouse Girll & Pub, West Iles Ave. in Springfield

Watch this newsletter and our  facebook page for more details.