The Rapidian

Conductive Learning Center children are training for a marathon - Life….and providing inspiration to “Make it Count” in the Fifth Third River Bank Run





The Conductive Learning Center (“CLC”) is proud to have been selected as an official Charity Partner for the 2012 Fifth Third River Bank Run. An Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge grant of $15,000.00 was awarded to CLC last fall as a challenge gift to Team CLC. A challenge that CLC has not taken lightly. The organization has recruited several corporate teams as well as individuals that will be “Making it Count” for CLC kids when they participate in the River Bank Run on May 12. CLC has leveraged the $15,000.00 from the Art Van Charity Challenge and raised an additional $19,000.00 as runners draw inspiration from the children at CLC who are training for their own kind of marathon- LIFE.


Margaux and Steve Drake will be running the 25 K x 2 for a total of 31 miles. “Every day the kids work their tails off at CLC to learn to be more independent. We thought that this one day we could work hard and bring awareness and raise funds that will enable more children to experience this life changing program.”


Greg Meyer, seven time winner of the Fifth Third River Bank Run, and the last American to win the Boston Marathon, is dusting off his running shoes and running the 25K for the Conductive Learning Center. It’s the first time Greg has ran the 25K in a number of years. Greg says the CLC kids motivated him to “get up off the couch” when he saw the training and determination that these kids embody. Greg said it was embarrassing that he wasn’t doing something to help out and added, “People who run take it for granted, these kids at CLC work hard every day to do the things we all take for granted. Once you see these kids you no longer take anything for granted.”


Even CLC parents are getting into the act. Angie and Jack Hamstra have a four year old adopted daughter Laila who is attending CLC for the second time. The Hamstra’s are bringing a team of eleven runners and walkers from DeMotte, Indiana to participate in the Fifth Third River Bank Run and they are all doing it for this organization that they say has been life changing for their family. Angie admits she isn’t a runner but when she is training she thinks about her daughter, Laila, and she knows she can’t quit because she doesn’t let Laila quit, even though everything is challenging for Laila and all of the other kids at CLC with cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other motor challenges.


Several other CLC families have formed teams. Five local companies have formed teams and are putting their “wellness” initiatives into action through participation in the Fifth Third River Bank Run and supporting an official charity partner, Conductive Learning Center.


Conductive Learning Center (CLC) works with children who are affected by motor disabilities such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, traumatic brain injury & other genetic disorders. At CLC, these children, who are often severely limited in their ability to perform basic, everyday activities, learn to gain control over their movements and acquire the skills necessary to become more independent. They approach each and every day the same way that a runner approaches a big race - setting goals, training, strengthening and conditioning their bodies until they are the best that they can be. Team CLC runners and walkers are collecting pledges on behalf of CLC, raising funds for the Champion a Child Scholarship program, enabling more children with motor disorders to “learn their way to independence”.


“We are so grateful for the challenge funds from Art Van and we are proud of our community, parents, and supporters that have stepped up and answered the call to join Team CLC, raising funds to increase access to these services, that give kids hope for independence.” Terry Stelter, Executive Director



If you are participating in the Fifth Third River Bank Run, CLC or any of the other 20 Charity Partners would welcome your involvement or support.                                                  
For more information please contact:

Terry Stelter, 


2428 Burton Street SE, 

Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Conductive Learning Center                              

(616)575-0575 [email protected]

No votes yet

Return to the Storybank Ideas

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.