What’s New?

December 2014

vol of year award

2014 Volunteer of the Year Award (Sonal Moraes, Adam Kirby (VP Marketing for ATDChi), and Mary Ann Kowalczyk)


My award!

I knew that the 2014 CCASTD (now ATDChi) Holiday Party would be a great event when it sold out a few days before the date!  But, it got even better when Sonal Moraes and I won the 2014 Volunteer of the Year for our work with social media for the chapter during 2014.  Some board members asked us to prepare for the Volunteer of the Year Award by taking video and photos of the winner, then tweeting about it.  I was taking video and Sonal was taking photos. All of a sudden, the VP of Volunteers announced our names as the recipients of the award! We were shocked and so excited! What a great honor 🙂 Recipients of this award are nominated by members of the board of Directors each year.


October 2014

2014 chicago marathon finisher pic

2014 Marathon Finisher!

On October 12, 2014, I ran 26.2 miles in my 3rd Chicago Marathon as a member of the Common Threads charity marathon team with a time of 5:54:36. I ran slower than the last two years… BUT… I felt fine the next day so that was a plus! Woo hoo! To make things even better, with the help of family, friends, and coworkers, I was able to raise over $1400 for Common Threads!  That’s amazing!

In 2013-14, Common Threads:

  • Partnered with 113 schools in underserved communities in five cities
  • Reached 21,607 children and adults
  • Served 15,747 students ages 8-12
  • Provided 170,600 hours of health and nutrition education to students
  • Trained 221 classroom teachers to provide healthy eating and nutrition education to underserved populations
  • Trained 221 classroom teachers on nutrition, planting and harvesting gardens, and healthy eating
  • In the 2014-15 school year, they plan to reach even more children and families through programs in over 150 schools across six cities

Thank you to all who donated! Thanks also to everyone who cheered for us at the marathon, watched for us on TV, and signed up for runner tracking texts!  🙂


June 2014

limo bus pic

Just Married!

On June 14, 2014, Dominic and I got married and now I am Mrs. Kowalczyk!  It was a beautiful 75 degree sunny day – wonderful weather for an outdoor ceremony at Danada House in Wheaton, Illinois.  The reception followed at The Cotillion in Palatine.  It was the best day of my life 🙂 We had such a great time seeing everyone and celebrating our LOVE 🙂 Awwwww…

Check out our fun and unique video slideshow here: http://youtu.be/SPw3ymXvupc (created by Lindsay at SimplyUniqueVideo.com).


April 2014

On October 12, 2014, I’ll be running 26.2 miles in my 3rd Chicago Marathon as a member of the Common Threads charity marathon team.

Common Threads – My 2014 marathon charity

Common Threads has been teaching children living in underserved communities how to cook wholesome, healthy meals in professional led, curriculum-based after-school programs for 10 years. Students learn about grains, protein, fruits, and vegetables as they chop, slice, and bake their way to a healthy affordable meal. Students gain serious culinary skills, a taste for healthy food from different countries, and the confidence to make healthy choices about what they eat.

My Common Threads fundraising page: http://bit.ly/runma14 – Help me reach my goal of raising $1001! 🙂


October 2013

engagement pic

The proposal!

Yay! I’m engaged! Dom proposed right after we both ran the Chicago Marathon this October.  We will be getting married in June 2014! 🙂  Our friends caught it all on video, submitted it to NBC News and we were on TV that night! So cool…


December 2011

On December 4th, 2011, Dom and I ran the Las Vegas Rock ‘n Roll half marathon! This was my first Half Marathon!  It seems like only yesterday. Check out the “video” below to see Dom and I warming up for the big race! haha