The Sweetest Race in Chicago


National Honors Society members volunteering at the 2019 Hot Chocolate Race

Despite the frigid Sunday, November 3rd morning, many East Leyden students took the time to volunteer at the annual Hot Chocolate Race in Downtown, Chicago. Members of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honors Society, Snowball Club, Ecology Club, and Key Club departed from East Leyden at 4:30 am sharp to start their momentous volunteer shift at the Hot Chocolate Race at 5:30 am.

Two year Snowball member, Richard Robles was one of the fortunate few who had the opportunity to volunteer at the race for the second year in a row. He, along with his fellow club members, handed out water cups to the dedicated runners, while other clubs handed out chocolate pieces, Gatorade, and the infamous Hot chocolate. Robles described the experience as “positive,” enjoying being able to “support the runners with words of encouragement and water to quench their thirst.” Robles continued describing that the only difference he recognized from last year was the runners, as “you always see different costumes, families, and hard-working passionate people that make up the race.” 

Not every club was fortunate enough to have dedicated members wanting to wake up that early on a Sunday morning. Still, National Honors Society, co-president Kamila Orbzut says, “it is a popular event many students look forward to when they become a member of NHS.” National Honors Society had only 20 spots available for students, and to receive a spot, students had to fill out a google form sent out by co-presidents. Obrzut remarks that “in 2 minutes, all 20 spots had been filled”, with  NHS members excited to “pass out chocolate chips to the runners and have a great experience helping out.”

Students volunteering at the race saw Ms. Lizbeth Roman, an East Leyden Spanish teacher, who has run the hot chocolate race for the past three years. Her experience running the race this year was “good,” as she enjoyed “the course, the people” and how the finish consisted of “organized treats” for the runners. Roman had the chance to pick up some chocolate pieces and cups of water from some of her students and found students volunteering at the race as “a great cause,” while getting “really excited seeing students” handing out water, Gatorade, chocolate chips and supporting the runners.

The yearly Hot Chocolate Race is full of excitement and bliss. The brisk mornings are nothing to handle when you see the smiles on the runner’s faces after seeing students cheering them on and giving them goodies such as chocolate pieces or hot chocolate as motivation. Robles says students should volunteer as it gives them “a sense of community” but “only if they are willing to wake up early and go to Chicago, which gets colder with each year.”

We hope to see many of our fellow Eagles volunteering at next year’s Hot Chocolate Race; it’ll surely be a memorable time, even if it is cold.