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Run for Assaf

Minooka High community conducting benefit walk/run for teacher Saturday

CHANNAHON — Family, friends, colleagues and students of Minooka Community High School math teacher Mike Assaf are gathering on Saturday, Nov. 10, for the “Run for Assaf” three mile walk/run.

Now, they want to encourage the rest of the community to join them.

Assaf went to the hospital with abdominal pains in September. Within a matter of days, he was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. He has been receiving chemotherapy treatments at the University of Chicago, said co-worker Jen Hanson.

“Mike was completely healthy (before this); he didn’t even like to take Tylenol for a headache,” Hanson said.

Hanson has worked with Assaf for the past eight years and gotten to know him well, she said. Assaf has four children under the age of 7. He and wife, Anna, welcomed their fourth child in October, shortly after he was diagnosed.

The family lives in Plainfield.

Assaf has been holding up well during his treatments, Hanson said.

The three-mile walk/run is open to all ages. Check-in is from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Community Park on McClintock Road (east of Interstate 55) in Channahon. The race will begin shortly after.

There will also be a disc jockey, raffle and bake sale during the day. Prizes will be awarded to the top 10 finishers in both male and female divisions, who will be announced at 1:30 p.m.

Pre-registration is recommended, Hanson said, but registration is also open on the day of the benefit. To register online, visit, click on “Web Store” link in the Quick Links menu, select “All Products” and then select “Run/Walk for Assaf.”

Each registrant will receive a dri-fit event T-shirt with the $30 registration fee.

All proceeds will help the family with medical bills, Hanson said. But it’s also a way of showing the Assaf family community-wide support.

Buffalo Wild Wings on Illinois 59 in Shorewood will also be holding a fundraiser on Saturday, Nov. 10. The restaurant will donate 10 percent of the proceeds from every meal that afternoon to the Assaf family. Just mention the fundraiser at the table inside the restaurant to receive a ticket to turn in to your server.

“We hope everyone goes to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings after the race,” Hanson said.

Assaf plans to be present at Community Par on Saturday if he is able, said Hanson.

“He’s very appreciative and humbled at how much everyone supports him,” she said.

Donations to the family can also be made at


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