Naperville run honors Jeanine Nicarico

May 17, 2010 6:18:56 AM PDT
The family of Jeanine Nicarico is making sure she's remembered for her life, rather than her tragic murder 27 years ago. Sunday morning many joined them in Naperville for the 9th annual "Run for Reading."

The race kicked off at about 7:30 Sunday morning. It is the ninth year that it's been done and this year's includes 700 participants taking place in the run/walk.

The run-walk benefits the Jeanine Nicarico Memorial Fund for Literacy. This, in turn, supports reading programs in Naperville schools.

Of course many will remember Jeanine Nicarico as the 10-year-old girl who was brutally kidnapped and murdered in 1983. It is one of the most infamous murder cases to this day, but before that happened, Jeanine was a bubbly fifth grader who struggled to overcome a reading problem, and that says her mother, Pat Nicarico, is how the idea for the walk was born.

"When she was in second, third grade, she struggled with reading in fourth grade, a teacher was able to motivate her and she blossomed and had no problems at all after that, and so I felt this was a good thing to do to help other children," said Pat Nicarico, Jeanine's mom.

So far the fund has actually raised some $125,000 for literacy programs all over Naperville schools.