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Champions, pups celebrate one year of Go Gurnee

GURNEE – Hundreds of Go Gurnee Champions flocked to the one-year anniversary season kickoff event May 7 at Viking Park in Gurnee.

“We were so pleased to see so many smiling faces, the sun shining and lots of cute Go Gurnee pups at the event,” Gurnee Park District marketing and community relations director Jennifer Gilbert said.

Walkers were encouraged to bring their well-behaved and leashed dogs to the event to receive their official Go pup bandannas.

According to Michigan State University, dog owners are 34 percent more likely to fit in 150 minutes of walking a week than non-dog owners, the news release stated.

“There are so many benefits to walking that we thought it was important to ensure all of our residents – including our furry friends – have plenty of opportunities to build healthy habits,” Gilbert said.

Go Gurnee, presented by Gurnee Park District, is a local wellness movement designed to increase people’s health and well-being through activities, education and community collaboration.

At the event, walkers heard inspirational talks from Libby Baker, vice president of the park board of commissioners; Susie Kuruvilla, executive director at the park district; Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik; and John Ashworth, health equity coordinator at Lake County Health Department. The speakers were followed by a free raffle and 30-minute walk.

“We could not be more grateful for our partners. We saw representation from all Gurnee municipal agencies, Lake County Health Department as well as Waukegan and Antioch Park Districts. We are stronger when we work together and that is what Go Gurnee is all about – coming together to support the entire community,” Gilbert said.

The event’s partners included Baxter Credit Union, Rainforest Café, Jump America, Very Import Pooch Grooming, Treat Diva, Salon Bliss, Penn Station, Momcorn and FitNation.

For information on Go Gurnee, visit

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