Breaking News Bar

Local educator backs Pride Month with second annual run

  • Tim Kee, right, with his husband Rick Wade, after a Heartland Regional Medical Center 5K Run in August 2019.

    Tim Kee, right, with his husband Rick Wade, after a Heartland Regional Medical Center 5K Run in August 2019.
    Courtesy of HRMC

 
SUBMITTED BY HERBY VOSS
Heartland Regional Medical Center
updated: 5/26/2022 4:09 PM

MARION -- June is National LGBTQ+ Pride Month and, for the second consecutive year, a Johnston City teacher is taking a unique approach to raising awareness. On Saturday, June 11, Tim Kee will run 10 miles, from Marion to Carbondale, to send an important message to the community. "I started with a simple idea of linking Marion to Carbondale, in the hopes of spreading inclusivity across county lines," Kee said.

Kee's Bi-County Pride Run will start at Heartland Regional Medical Center at 8 a.m. on June 11th and will follow Illinois Route 13 to Sweets Drive in Carbondale, near The Furniture King. Marion Mayor Michael Absher will be on hand as Kee begins his run and Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry will join Kee at the finish line.

While Kee is excited to have the two community leaders on board, the Pride Run is definitely nonpartisan. "This is not a political event. It's a human event," Kee said. "I want this run to be conducted in the spirit it's been created, with love and positive energy."

Several individuals have committed to join Kee this year, but he encourages others to participate. "It's our goal to have as many LGBTQ+ and allies run with me as possible," Kee said. "They can run or walk as much of the route as they want. Start at Heartland Regional or meet us in Carterville! We would also love to have supporters scattered at safe spots along the way on Route 13."

Interested runners can meet Kee at Heartland Regional, beginning at 7 a.m., on June 11, behind the Marion hospital. After the run, the group Golden Rainbow Illinois South is holding a reception for all participants at 11 a.m. at the Hickory Lodge, located at 1115 W Sycamore Street, in Carbondale. For more information, email Kee at msturkee@aol.com.