Girls on the Run is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.


Girls on the Run of Northwest Illinois started serving girls in McHenry County in 2007. With 17 brave girls embarking on a new program that most no one had ever heard of, GOTR McHenry County took off. From 17 to over 300 girls in two short years, word quickly spread of the impact this experiential learning based program had on the young girls in our communities. In 2010 we started serving girls in DeKalb County, adding in Winnebago County in 2013  and Boone County in 2014. Now reaching over 1,400 girls with the help of more than 260 volunteers, GOTRNWIL is focused on bringing kindness to all we do (hopefully with a dash of fun and laughter). Our staff and board are comprised of people who care about the future of our youth. Separately, we are moms, dads, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, professionals, and caregivers. But together we are friends. And together we are making a difference in how girls view themselves and the world around them.

Girls on the Run International was established in 1996 in Charlotte, North Carolina by Molly Barker. What started with thirteen girls in one school has grown to over 200 councils in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. With the help of almost 100,000 volunteers, Girls on the Run served nearly 180,000 girls in 2015, including our millionth girl! Girls on the Run continues to grow and currently hosts more than 350 end-of-season 5K events across the United States, making the Girls on the Run 5K series the largest in the country. Girls on the Run has also expanded to include middle school girls through Heart & Sole, a program dedicated to the unique needs of adolescent girls.

core values

Recognize our POWER and RESPONSIBILITY to be INTENTIONAL in our decision making


Express JOY, OPTIMISM AND GRATITUDE through our words, thoughts
and actions


NURTURE our physical, emotional and spiritual HEALTH

STAND UP for ourselves and others

our people


Laurie Dayon

Executive Director

“I love being on the proactive side of change and collaborating with others who believe that we can, and we will change how girls view themselves and the world around them.”

Lisa Puma

Program Director

“Every decision we make is all about the little girls :) I love training, communicating and building relationships with our coaches. I enjoy designing our marketing strategy for all our communities! Now more than ever, it is so important GOTR GIRLS have a safe place to develop their voice and a team beside them to build each other up.”

Karen Patel

Program Coordinator

“I love working with the schools and coaches to make the program the best it can be for all the girls!”

Julie McClurg

Office Manager

“Coaching my girls is the most rewarding part of my week. It's truly inspiring to see them learn and grow!”

Jessica Ebert

DeKalb County Coordinator

“It's exciting to see girls accomplish their goals and to watch them support one another on their GOTR journeys. Working with them is always inspirational.”

We're always considering passionate individuals to join our team and help us inspire more girls in the Northwest Illinois area.

Career Opportunities
Our Board

Nicole LaMorte

Chairman of the Board

Cross Country Mortgage

Shelly Voight

Vice President

Keller Williams Success Realty

Sandy Otten


Sears Hometown and Outlet

Doris Rogers


Lewke Partners/Keller Williams Success

Harry Semerjian

Board Member

Infinium Marketing

Deidre Martinez

Board Member

Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce

Lisa Kubelka

Board Member

Swedish American Hospital Rockford

Jill Struck

Board Member

Militello & Struck, LLC

At the heart of Girls on the Run are amazing volunteers whose commitment and passion impact the lives of girls each year.

Board Opportunities

Northwest Illinois
111 Erick Street
Suite 115
Crystal Lake, IL 60014

(815) 893-0259