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TEAM PAWS Chicago Member Benefits
TEAM PAWS Chicago is dedicated to helping you achieve your personal athletic goals while making a difference in the lives of homeless animals.  All members receive access to professional training, fundraising coaching, community of support, and inspiration every step of the way.  TEAM PAWS Chicago will help you finish your event and together we can achieve the building of No Kill communities, end the overpopulation of homeless animals, and transform animal welfare.

Below is a listing of all the perks TEAM PAWS Chicago members participating in the BOA Chicago Marathon 2019 will receive:

    Guaranteed Charity Entry into the 2019 BOA Chicago Marathon  After you register with TEAM PAWS Chicago,
                                      you will receive a link to claim your entry with the BOA Chicago Marathon.  Your spot in the marathon is not
                                      complete until you complete this step and you will have one week after receiving the link to complete.  Failure to
                                      do so will result in the forfeiture of your spot with no refunds issued. 

   Pre and Post Race Party at the Congress Hotel  On Marathon day we will have a pre and post race party at
                                          the Congress Hotel, directly across the street from the corral gates.  Our marathoners will enjoy private gear
                                          check, indoor restrooms, continental breakfast, group photos and waves 1-3 will walk together to the gates. 
                                          After the race, enjoy our post race party with massages, food, drinks, live DJ, and more!  This is FREE for our
                                          TEAM PAWS Chicago marathoners, however, family and friends are  required to purchase a wristband for entry                                            to the party.  We have 250 wristbands available and we sold out last year, so don't wait to order yours!

                                          Wristband cost:
                                           Early bird -- $20 Available online HERE until Friday, September 30th
                                           Marathon Weekend -- $30 (cash only)

     Official TEAM PAWS Chicago Singlet  All TEAM PAWS Chicago members receive a TEAM PAWS Navy singlet.

  Official TEAM PAWS Chicago Fan Club Shirt  Use these shirts to easily find your biggest fans along the race
                                           route!  The quantity of shirts you will receive is dependent on your entry type as follows: 
                                           Self-Secured Entrants = 1 shirt, Pre and Post-Lottery Entrants = 3 shirts
     TEAM PAWS Chicago Marathon Gift

     TEAM PAWS Chicago Finishers Medal

    2 Tickets to the TEAM PAWS Chicago PAW-sta Party  Our annual PAWSta Party is on Thursday, October                                                  10th, 5:30 to 7:30pm at Joe's on Weed940 W. Weed Street, Chicago, IL.  Our PAWSta party features a                                                            complimentary dinner and dessert, cash bar, event program and more! It's also a great opportunity to meet                                                with fellow TEAM PAWS Chicago runners, staff and Shepherds before the big race.

                                          TEAM PAWS Chicago runners can invite ONE guest, 21 or older to attend the party.  To secure your spot, please                                              RSVP to; no later then Friday, September 20th.


    FREE Entry into the PAWS Chicago 5K Walk/Run  All TEAM PAWS Chicago members will receive one
                                            complimentary registration into Chicago’s largest dog-friendly walk.  We will also have a group photo and
                                            members get to start at the front of the runners’ corral.

     Social Events  Meet fellow team members on fun runs, happy hours, dog-friendly events, and group
                                             fundraising opportunities. 

     PAWS Professional Board Membership Fee Waived for One Year  TEAM PAWS Chicago members will receive
                                             waived fees for one year if they join the PAWS Chicago Professional Board (value $250).  To see a listing of
                                             requirements and more information, please visit our website HERE. 

Fundraising Tools  Fundraising is easy with a personal fundraising web page, coaching, quarterlyfundraising workshops, and resources to help you reach your fundraising requirements.

Guided Mentorship  Receive personal guidance from our seasoned pros, our Shepherds, who are not only past TEAM PAWS Chicago participants but also top fundraisers.  If you would like to be placed in one of our Shepherds in their "pack" just select "yes" in this question during your registration, and we will place you based on your geographic location (noted by the Shepherds' names below).

Your Shepherds for our BOA Chicago Marathon Team are:

  Rosalyn Cooper (Shepherd for Chicago North Shore Suburb Members)

This is Rosalyn’s 2nd year as a shepherd and my 4th year with TEAM PAWS Chicago.  She once heard someone say "your dog isn't with you your whole life but you are with him for all for his".  It breaks her  heart knowing there are animals that sit and wait, without knowing what the next day will consist of.  That’s why she joined TPC.  She completed her eighth full marathons in the fall, and half marathon #28 in September.  The running event she’s most proud of was earning her Boston Qualifying Time at the Spring Chance BQ2.  When not racing for time, she loves to pace others to meet their goals and always races in her TPC gear and daughter’s pink hairbow.  In all her years on the team she has exceeded fundraising every year, earning the "saved one more life" patch, and her goal is to earn the coveted 9 Lives Red Singlet (those who raise $3,000+) one day!  She loves TEAM PAWS Chicago, helping runners, and the Chicago Marathon weekend is her favorite weekend of the year! 

  Vince Coraci (Shepherd for Chicago City Members)

Vince joined TEAM PAWS Chicago back in 2012 to run his first marathon after moving to Chicago from Michigan and wanted a local charity to support.  He’s been on the team for 6 years (2012-2017) and after taking a year off, he’s back! He’s run a total of 10 marathons (only 9 finishes so he knows how rough a Did-Not-Finish/DNF can be!)... six Chicago, two NYC, Marine Corps, and a semi-trail marathon in Michigan. He’s also run around 10-15 halves and numerous races of shorter distances. Vince was a Nine Lives Club member (those who raise $3,000+) for two years in a row and proudly wears the singlet – and believes it's something everyone should strive to obtain! He’s also one of our 2017 Alfredo Cotto Award recipients for outstanding service to TEAM PAWS Chicago and coordinates a running club in the northern neighborhoods of Chicago (Uptown, Ravenswood, Edgewater, Lakeview, etc.) for members during the training seasons. When not running, he likes to cook / bake, work out, spend time with friends, travel, and is a Level 2 volunteer in Dog Town at the PAWS Chicago Lincoln Park shelter. 

  Stephanie Dewald (Shepherd for Chicago City Members)

PAWS Chicago is an extremely special organization to Stephanie, who started volunteering in 2007.  In 2010 she combined her two passions, PAWS Chicago and running, focusing her attention on TEAM PAWS Chicago.  She signed up for my first half marathon in 2010 and in 2011 I completed my first full marathon on behalf of TPC!  Since then she has run 78 marathons (including two 50k trail races) and in 2015 ran three marathons in three days around Lake Tahoe.  In 2017, she started entering triathlons, completing five half 70.3 IRONMAN races, and in 2018 completed her first full 140.6 IRONMAN!  Stephanie is consistently one of our Top Fundraisers each year and raised over $9,000 in 2018!  She has two cats, 18 and 13 years old, and views it as her mission to educate as many people as she can about her loves in life:  Running, Triathlons and Rescues!

Kendra Frigo (Shepherd for Chicago West/Southwestern Suburb Members)

2019 marks Kendra’s 9th straight year running for TEAM PAWS Chicago!  She signed up for her first marathon (Chicago) in 2011 and knew she had to run for charity to make her miles count and to hold herself accountable for training.  She selected TPC in honor of her rescue dog Luna (top dog in picture) since Luna is the reason Kendra took up running. Kendra took her around the block one day, and Luna loved it so much they made it a habit.  One ½ mile run has turned into many races for Kendra! Since 2011, Kendra has run 17 marathons, including 8 Chicago, Boston, 2 NYC, 2 Big Sur, 2 Naperville, 1 Fox Valley and her favorite, the marathon at the end of her Lake Placid Ironman in 2018!  She has much experience in fundraising, exceeding her record of $5,000 in 2014 when she ran both Chicago and NYC with TEAM PAWS Chicago, and earning her “Save One More Life” patch.  To date, she’s earned 4 of those patches, one Top Fundraising Jacket and her favorite, the coveted red “Nine Lives” singlet (those who raise $3,000+)!

  Casandra Fritzsche (Shepherd for Chicago City Members)

In 2017, Casandra joined TEAM PAWS Chicago in memory of her dog Frodo.  She ran her first marathon (the Chicago Marathon) that year. After that race, she swore she would never run another marathon, but then signed up for the 2018 Berlin Marathon with TEAM PAWS Chicago. The second marathon was MUCH better than the first and her current running goal is to complete a race in all 50 states.  Casandra has also earned her red “Nine Lives” singlet, given to those who raise $3,000+ for TPC!  Casandra works as a Learning & Development Consultant with Gallup.  Before that, she worked in non-profits for 6 years. Most recently, for six years she served as the Executive Director of the American Red Cross in West Virginia where she worked extensively in fundraising, public relations, and event planning.  She also served as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger, West Africa.

Shelly Fuerte (Shepherd for First Time Marathoner Members)

Shelly is entering her 5th season with TEAM PAWS Chicago, having joined in 2015 when she wanted to run the Chicago marathon for her 40th birthday. She didn’t get in the lottery so looked for an animal rescue charity because her dog Violet had rescued her and her husband in 2014.  She was referred by TPC Coach Denise and was hooked!  Shelly thought she was a “one and done” but is now preparing for Tokyo which will be marathon #7 (LA, Chicago (2015-2017), NYC, Berlin), has run many half marathons (including Rock N Roll Las Vegas, Nashville, and Chicago; and her favorite Surf City in Huntington Beach). The only reason she’s kept running is because of the wonderful friends and coaches I have met through TPC. She feels inspired every day.  Fundraising her goal of $1,500 seemed overwhelming when she first joined the team but she blew past it to over $3,200, earning the coveted red “Nine Lives” singlet (for those who raise $3,000+).  She finds that posting her training journey, why she runs, and why she chose TPC, along with consistency and follow through makes her successful.  Because of her contributions to PAWS Chicago and TPC, Shelly was awarded the Alfredo Cotto Award in 2018.

Elizabeth "Liz" Grubbs (Shepherd for Chicago City Members)

Liz has been a been involved with PAWS Chicago since 2011 as a member of TEAM PAWS Chicago, Professional Board, Dog Town Level 3, kitten foster mom, and media spokesperson! An avid animal lover and new to the city in 2010, a friend recommended PAWS to meet people while helping animals. She’s run 4 Chicago marathons, a dozen half marathons, Ragnar Relays, and has tried most of the Chicago 5k’s and 10k’s at least once!  Fundraising is important to Liz because it has such a direct impact on saving animals - education, advocacy, awareness and volunteering are all necessary elements to help Chicago become a no-kill city, but fundraising allows animals to be saved from other shelters, receive spay/neuter surgeries, and receive lifesaving medical treatments. Liz looks forward to getting into training mode, Saturday morning runs on the lakefront, and helping Team PAWS Chicago members meet and exceed their fundraising goals! 

  Nicole Majka (Shepherd for Chicago City Members)

Nicole chose to run for PAWS Chicago because she believes it’s an upstanding organization that puts the needs of the animals first. She grew up with dogs and horses and currently owns a Yorkie, Dixie, and a rescued Arabian horse, Versace.  She recently lost her rescue Yorkie Harley (on the left in the photo), also running in honor of him.  Nicole finds that sharing her pets’ stories helps her meet her fundraising goals.  She decided to become a Shepherd this year after the support and encouragement received from her Shepherd, and specifically looks forward to helping novice runners and/or those running in their first half/full marathon.  She remembers when she “couldn’t run down the block” but in the past 4 years has completed 2 Chicago Marathons along with multiple halves such as Fox Valley, Naperville, Iron Horse, KY Derby, Run the Blue Grass, & Rock N Roll Chicago.  She runs 15-20 races per year and enjoys other races like the Shamrock Shuffle, Soldier Field 10 Miler and of course, the PAWS Chicago 5K! 

  Samantha Mandredini (Shepherd for Chicago City Members)

Samantha joined TEAM PAWS Chicago to help Snappy’s (in photo) shelter pet friends. This past season, she ran her first Chicago Marathon while Snappy cheered at mile 8 outside their home in Wrigleyville, sporting his bright red PAWS alumni bandana. Other races she’s completed this past season include the Madison Mini (Half) Marathon, Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon, CARA 20 Miler, Comer Children’s Hospital 5k, and the North Shore Turkey Trot 10k. Currently, she’s a pace group leader for CARA’s Winter Half Marathon training and is gearing up for the Milwaukee Marathon in April. Snappy’s race schedule is nonexistent, unless racing to the couch counts!  Snappy and Samantha almost doubled their fundraising commitment by hosting a party at her local watering holes last January—9 months before the deadline—and in one night, met her $1,000 commitment and then had it matched by a corporate sponsor!  Samantha is also a member of the PAWS Chicago Professional Board and 2018 Fur Ball Committee where she secured over $7,000 in silent auction donations!

Matt Morgan (Shepherd for Chicago Northwestern Suburban Members)

Matt moved to Chicago in December 2015, and joined TEAM PAWS Chicago right away to plug into the running community after seeing his childhood friend, Shelly, who is also a Shepherd at the time, posting about the organization.  A bonus for him is that it's full of like-minded animal advocates! He became a shepherd for his second year to further commit to the cause and help others achieve their fundraising and running goals.  He’s finished eight marathons, including Chicago (twice), New York City, Big Sur and Marine Corps; 17 half-marathons; six Ragnar Relay and Trail events; and countless shorter races.  He was initially nervous about fundraising but quickly found co-workers, friends and family to be very supportive of the work PAWS Chicago is doing for homeless pets. He had no problems reaching my goals each year and earned his red "Nine Lives" singlet (those who raise $3,000+) for the 2017 New York City Marathon.

  Bryce Remy (Shepherd for Out of State Members)

Bryce is from Oshkosh, WI and first ran with TEAM PAWS Chicago in 2017 for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.  He joined TPC because he loves running and animals!  He ran two marathons (including Chicago) back to back and while telling himself he’d never run one again, but then signed up for a couple more.  In 2018, he ran his fifth marathon, the New York City marathon, with TEAM PAWS Chicago and earned his red “Nine Lives” singlet for raising over $3,000!  He’s also completed 51 half marathons.  Bryce has recently adopted an 8 year old chocolate lab and has purchased his first home.  He says that TEAM PAWS Chicago has been an awesome experience for him since it has allowed him to meet so many people. 

Jennifer Rettammel (Shepherd for Out of State Members)

Jennifer ran the Chicago Marathon in 2018 with Team PAWS, her 4th full marathon since she started running back in the fall of 2014.  She has run in the Little Rock, St. Louis, NYC and Marine Corps marathons, and has completed at least 25 half marathons, and countless 10k’s and 5k’s.  She is also a race ambassador for a local running organization in the Milwaukee area, Lighthouse events, and loves all the friendships she’s made through the group.  She has returned to 2019 as a Shepherd because she had an incredible experience with TEAM PAWS Chicago.  Having two lab-mixes that have both come from organizations like PAWS, I cannot imagine life without my fur babies and supports the mission.  She admits at first the fundraising minimums intimidated her, but she started my fundraising right before Christmas and reached her goal in the beginning of May.  She was shocked how easy fundraising was looks forward to helping others reach their goals.

  Marcy Ritsick (Shepherd for Out of State Members)

Marcy ran the 2017 Chicago Marathon as a lottery participant.  Around mile 6, she noticed a TEAM PAWS Chicago singlet on a woman and started talking to her about PAWS Chicago – there were so many runners in the noticeable blue singlets!  Marcy thought “THIS is a charity I would LOVE to run for” for the rest of the race.  She feels that running marathons is hard, but running for an amazing purpose makes it possible.  She joined TPC in 2018 to run Chicago again.  Marcy got her start in the late 2000s, doing sprint triathlons, but found running to be the hardest part, so she started focusing on improving.  Since then, she’s completed 6 marathons and 24+ half marathons!  Over the years, she’s raised $8,000+ for charities and has great advice and tips for members.   She loves to “run for puppies” and looks forward to her first year as Shepherd.

  Christine Roloff (Shepherd for Chicago City Members)

Christine competed in athletics since she was a child, and team sports were her main focus until she found her true love for running in College.  She started running half marathons and completed races in Las Vegas, Saint Louis, Cincinnati and Chicago to name a few.  She joined TEAM PAWS Chicago because it allows her to celebrate her love for animals and running with others.  Fundraising for TPC has been an extremely enjoyable and rewarding experience for her.  She earned her red “Nine Lives” singlet (for those who raise $3,000+) in 2013 and continuously exceeds her fundraising minimums.  Not only is she a Shepherd for 2019, but will be a pace group leader with CARA Winter Training Program and running with our 2019 London Marathon team! 

  Caroline Rothstein (Shepherd for Chicago City Members)

Caroline has been volunteering with PAWS Chicago since 2017, and joining TEAM PAWS Chicago has given her the opportunity to make an impact every time she laces up my shoes.  She was an extremely un-athletic child, but tried repeatedly to become a runner as an adult, training up to 5K before some ache or pain would creep in and she’d have to stop for a while. She finally hit her stride in 2015, and since then, has completed 2 marathons and 20+ other races.  She was nervous about fundraising, so  didn’t join TPC until her second marathon, but wishes she knew back then how achievable the fundraising minimum is.  She started early and reached her minimum with six months to go! Caroline is also a PAWS Chicago Professional Board Member and in her first year as Shepherd, looks forward to helping members learn how to make a respectful ask, optimize their social media presence, and generate ideas for additional fundraising events to help them reach their goals. 

  Susie Russell (Shepherd for First Time Marathoner Members )

2019 will Susie’s 5th year as a TEAM PAWS Chicago member, and 3rd year as a Shepherd.  She’s been an animal lover her whole life, but in 2015 she started helping with the trap/neuter/release of a feral cat colony in her neighborhood.  After trapping two young kittens, her foster journey began.  Shortly thereafter she started running a bit more, and merged two loves together: running and animals!  She secured a spot with TPC for the 2015 Chicago Marathon and since then, has participated in a number of different events including destination half marathons, full marathons (Chicago, NYC and Berlin) and, her personal favorite, Ragnar relays.  Fundraising was a little intimidating at first, but she found it was a great way for her to advocate for a cause so incredibly important to her, and gave her a way to connect with friends and loved ones.  She has consistently reached (and at times exceeded) her fundraising minimum, and reached a personal record of $9,000!  Susie was also the recipient of our Alfredo Cotto Award in 2017 for her outstanding contributions to TEAM PAWS Chicago.   

  Amy Saltzman (Shepherd for Chicago City Members)

Amy started her involvement with PAWS Chicago as a Level 3 Dog-Town Volunteer (highest level) at the Lincoln Park Adoption Center and is a member of the Professional Board.  She started running during middle school track and it has long been a part of her life.  She has completed 5 marathons (Chicago 3 times, Cleveland and Green Bay), 7 half marathons, and numerous 10k and 5k races; and in 2018 complete her first triathlon in Chicago and is training for her first 70.3 half IRONMAN in Ohio.  2019 will be her second-year fundraising for TEAM PAWS Chicago and has extensive fundraising experience as a nonprofit professional.  Through volunteering, the board, and running for TPC, she has found a community of other like-minded, dedicated fellow animal lovers.  She loves seeing TPC singlets on the Lakeshore path and in Chicago races and is looking forward to another great season!

Gabriella Waller (Shepherd for Out Members residing outside of the US)

Gabriella chose TEAM PAWS Chicago when signing up for the 2018 Chicago Marathon because everybody who knows her knows that she loves animals, especially dogs!  She has two cheeky dogs, Gizmo (a Bichon Havanese girl) and Po Po (a Jack Russell Papillion mix boy), as well as a hedgehog!  She started running in November 2015, when her sister signed them up for a half marathon in Reading, England. Since then she’s run many races, including her local half marathon every year (Basingstoke Half) and four marathons:  London, NYC, Berlin, Chicago.  She will be running in the Tokyo and London Marathons in 2019.  While in a different country than PAWS Chicago, Gabriella says she had a “really great fundraising experience with TPC and received many emails with different fundraising ideas”.  She recommends picking a charity close to you to make fundraising easier and looks forward to helping her pack members achieve the same success!   

Training Enjoy training and nutrition resources from our coaches and discounted training from our partners.

2019 Training Partners:  Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA) and Chicago Endurance Sports (CES) are long time supporters of TEAM PAWS Chicago, offering discounted group and virtual training options to our members!
Since its start in 1989, CARA has helped tens of thousands of runners complete the 26.2-mile course in Chicago and at other fall races.  CARA has helped aspiring marathoners and seasoned veterans alike make it to the finish line, and they can help you too!  CARA is conquering the winter months with their Power of the Group.  Prepare for April and May marathons through CARA’s group training program that offers you the support, community and resources you need to successfully reach 26.2.  For more information, visit their website HERE.
CES and their dedicated coaches have guided athletes of ALL levels across the finish line of the Berlin, Chicago and NYC Marathons for over 17 years.  Their program will prepare you for the race, no matter what your experience level is. Looking for a PR? Their coaches will challenge you with challenging, effective, smart training!  For more information, visit their website HERE.

2019 TEAM PAWS Chicago Coaches
Available to ALL our 2019 TEAM PAWS Chicago members are the advice and assistance from our 2019 Coaches who generously donate their time and expertise to our members.  Our coaches answer members’ general questions on running, nutrition, training, race day, etc. for FREE.  In addition to also offering our members discounted training, they host FREE clinics, fun runs and other events for our members throughout the year.   
  Coach Mark Buciak
Mark (PB 2:30:25) has over 45 years of coaching and running experience, having run 62 career marathons − including 39 consecutive Boston Marathons and 7 Chicago Marathons.  He is a member of the Boston Marathon's Quarter Century Club ("QCC").  Coach Mark has successfully coached runners and run-walkers of all abilities, from first-time marathoners to sub 3-hour marathoners.  His coaching style incorporates the 4 E’s:   Education, Encouragement, Empowerment and Enjoyment.  Coach Mark’s program has a 100% success rate for completion of the 2007-2018 Chicago and Boston Marathons, including many Personal Bests.  He offers his runners direct access 24 hours a day and is ready to help you achieve your running & fund-raising goals including individual fundraising parties at Kiehls.
  Coach Randy Egge
Randy is an USA Triathlon level 1 and USA Cycling level 3 certified coach and has helped athletes of various abilities and experience achieve their goals.  He is also a regular volunteer at PAWS Chicago, PAWS Chicago 2017 Volunteer of the Year and a TEAM PAWS Chicago member since 2015.  He is an 8-time Boston Marathon qualifier (7-time finisher with number 8 in 2017) and has completed numerous marathons, Ironman, 70.3, and ultra-endurance events. His triathlon pursuits earned him USA Triathlon All American Honorable mention, Ironman Silver Level All American awards, and two-time qualifier for the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships. He draws on his personal experiences with weight loss (60 pounds), numerous marathons, Ironman and ultra-endurance races to help his athletes succeed.  Randy believes that all personal and athletic achievement begins with the all-important, “first step,” and he inspires people to have the confidence to take that big first step and reach for their life and athletic goals.
  Coach Seth Kopf
Seth is a certified USA Track & Field and Road Runners Club of America running coach. He is the owner of Kopf Running, an endurance coaching company based in the Chicago area, and has helped thousands of athletes successfully complete races of varying distances. He is the proud finisher of 10 Bank of America Chicago Marathons, and is equally proud to have participated as a charity athlete on 9 different occasions.
  Coach Denise Sauriol
Denise has been coaching beginning runners through Ironman finishers since 2011. She loves helping runners so much that she left her 26-year career to coach full time. She has a lot of experience to share having run over 200 races (and counting) around the world (including 89 marathons, 100-miler, 2 Wisconsin Ironman, Rim2Rim2Rim and 10 Boston Marathons).  She has also completed all 6 of the Abbott World Marathon Majors.  Throughout the year, she offers group, virtual and one on one training for all distances (5K, half, full, 50K, 50-miler, 100 miler). Through the training season, she is accessible via email and at the group workouts. This will be Denise's 3rd year coaching for TEAM PAWS Chicago. The 2018 Chicago Marathon was her 24th Chicago Marathon and 100th Marathon!

Please note that perks vary across events and are based on the featured race type and minimum fundraising level.  TEAM PAWS Chicago recognizes that not everyone will be able to take advantage of all perks (for example, those who live outside of Chicago) but we are unable to adjust minimum fundraising requirements for those who do not take advantage of the perks offered.  If you raise over the minimum commitment and reach a different race's minimum, you will not receive those perks.  Instead, you will be eligible for fundraising prizes for going above and beyond your minimum requirement.  You may only receive the perks associated with the race you register for.  Perks are non-transferable and offered to registered TEAM PAWS Chicago members only.