Lew Blond race still evokes memories of teacher
Daniel Cheung (No. 706) leads the 5K run/walk portion of the Lew Blond Run on Saturda at Maple School in Northbrook. Cheung won the race. There was also a one -mile run during the event. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
WHAT: 12th annual Lew Blond 5K run/walk and 1 mile run
WHY: raised funds for the Les Turner ALS Foundation and projects at School District 30
WHO: Lew Blond was a school teacher who died in 2000 of Lou Gehrig’s disease
WHERE/WHEN: Maple School, 2370 Shermer Road, Northbrook, Saturday
Updated: June 12, 2012 6:04PM
The Lew Blond Run this year in Northbrook continued to honor a teacher still remembered by many friends.
The 12th annual 5K run/walk and 1 mile run was Saturday morning at Maple School, raising funds for the Les Turner ALS Foundation and projects at School District 30.
Blond, a longtime woodshop and technology instructor in District 30, died in 2000 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The neuromuscular disorder is fatal and causes impaired speaking, swallowing, breathing, muscle wasting and eventually total paralysis.
Ben Chin, district athletic director, worked with Blond for 17 years.
“The reason why the run has become so big is that we’re a close knit community here. Lew was well received as a teacher and friend,” said Chin, adding Blond also coached wrestling and soccer.
The 2011 event drew more 850 participants, while $250,000 has been raised since 2002 and $90,000 donated to the Les Turner ALS Foundation.
Band director Jeff Jay said Lew often helped teachers at home with projects, such as fixing his dining room chairs.
“Later on, I brought the chairs into a store in Arlington Heights for a different staining. The owner wanted to hire whomever put in the wood dowels, saying they would last 100 years” Jay recalled, laughing.
He also said when Blond was in a wheelchair and had use of only one arm, he would still show up in the woodshop to see students.
“With one decent arm, he’d run his fingers across the wood project of a student and could tell if it smooth enough for staining. It’s a hideous disease, but Lew was here.”
A year before Blond died, Jay said former students still wanted to spend time with him.
“They just wanted to be with him and chat one last time before he passed.”
The race also has provided scholarships to 22 graduating seniors from Glenbrook North and South high schools.