Champaign Central Interact Club

Champaign Central Interact Club officers pose Thursday in front of the school. Back row, from left, are Anneliese Schideman, adviser Erin Carmichael and Layla Khan; front row, from left, are Clare Smith, Lily Weaver and Caroline Hartmann.

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Each day, it seems that more community events that were postponed or canceled by the pandemic are returning to the calendar.

One you definitely need to know about: the annual 5K Turkey Trot put on by Champaign Central’s Interact Club.

It is scheduled for 8 a.m. Nov. 20 at Urbana’s Crystal Lake Park.

One-hundred percent of the proceeds go to the United Way. So, you can get fit and make a positive contribution to the community at the same time.

Technically, this will be the sixth Turkey Trot run by the Interact Club. Though it has taken seven years.

“Last year, it didn’t happen because of COVID,” club Co-President Anneliese Schideman said.

The goal of the club is to give high school students volunteer opportunities to enhance the community. Lending a hand in the place you call home is always a good idea.

Club members are involved in many events throughout the year.

The 5K is the biggest annual event. The run was started before Schideman became part of the club.

Each year, club members decide which charity to support with the race.

Normally, the event draws 60-100 participants. Schideman, a Central senior, is hoping for at least 100 this year.

The Interact Club includes about 40 members. Most of them will be involved in planning and executing the 5K.

There are some unknowns going into this year’s event. Club leaders don’t have the 2020 race to use as a model. So, they are contacting past members for guidance to make sure everything runs well.

Organizers have been mindful of continued COVID-19 concerns. Club members wear masks for indoor meetings.

“We want people to be safe,” Schideman said. “It’s mainly an outdoor event.”

Masks won’t be required for 5K participants.

While she is hoping for 100 runners, Schideman will happily accept more than that.

“If a lot of people show up, we’ll make it work,” she said.

There will be some repeat customers from previous years.

Schideman is one of three club presidents, along with Clare Smith and Lily Weaver. Layla Kahn and Caroline Hartman are club officers.

To register for the run, send an email to Early registration ends Tuesday and costs $20 for adults and $15 for students. After that, the fees go to $25 and $20.

Registration is open until the day of the race.

The 5K will be held rain or shine. Only extreme weather will cause a cancellation.

The event draws a combination of walkers and competitive runners. Prizes will be awarded in every age group.

Bob Asmussen can be reached at 217-393-8248 or by email at

College Football Reporter/Columnist

Bob Asmussen is a college football reporter and columnist for The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@BobAsmussen).

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