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Daily Journal
     June 11, 2020      #44-163 KDJ
 
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Those completing the run will receive a T-shirt with a design created by 10-year-old Izzabella Kaluzny from Coal City. She designed the winning logo for a gallery contest.

Gallery for autism hosting virtual run 

Daily Journal staff report

KANKAKEE — Though its planned Sporting Clays Clinic and gala have been postponed due to coronavirus-related restrictions, the Merchant Street Art Gallery Artists with Autism is pushing on with its Run for Autism 5K/2 mile walk.

Gerry and Judy Kilbride started the run 25 years ago to support those with autism, but the gallery took over the event in 2017 as a fundraiser for its programs. The event has traditionally been run on Father’s Day, but this year, because of the coronavirus, it will be done virtually. The event will be held from June 21 to July 6.

Runners and walkers will be able to do the 5K run or walk in a location of their choosing during the dates of the event. The runners will report their times to the gallery, which will record them. To participate, visit merchantstreetartgallery.org to register.

Those completing the run will receive a T-shirt with a design created by 10-year-old Izzabella Kaluzny from Coal City. She designed the winning logo for a gallery contest.

Also, for the fifth year, the gallery has painted and decorated benches with the gallery’s designs that will be available for sale to support the gallery. This fundraiser was an idea of Dondi Maricle and her husband, Al, who assembles all 12 benches from lumber. While Al is building benches, Dondi is gathering sponsors for the benches. Then 12 gallery artists take the benches and paint them. Each artist draws and paints the theme that is in their mind at the time. The artists for the benches range in age from 5 to 27 years old this year. The benches will be on display at the Kankakee Farmers Market June 13 and 20 for a silent auction.

Profits from the sale will benefit the gallery’s programs.

Donors, volunteers sought

Merchant Street Art Gallery of Artists with Autism is currently seeking donors and volunteers for its programs and events. 

The organization's Sporting Clays Clinic and gala have been postponed due to coronavirus-related restrictions, however it plans to continue with its Run for Autism 5K/2 mile walk. The event will be held virtually from June 21 to July 6. 

Located at 356 E. Merchant St. in Kankakee, the organization providers art therapy workshops led by licensed therapists among a number of other programs. 

To donate or volunteer, contact the gallery by phone at 815-685-9057, via email at info@merchantstreetartgallery.org or online at merchantstreetartgallery.org.

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