News & Events

Concordia-Chicago Kindness 5K: Sharing Life, Love, Light


Concordia University Chicago will host the first-ever Kindness 5K on Sunday, Aug. 27 at Willowbrook High School in Villa Park, IL, to celebrate and continue the life, love and light shared by Katie L. Kloess BA ’09, MA ’11.

The Kloess family has partnered with Concordia-Chicago to host a family-friendly event for participants of all ages, abilities and location. Not your typical road race, the event encourages participants to run, walk or stroll the course in Villa Park, or register to join virtually when distance or scheduling keeps them from the starting line.

A “Kindness Camp” on site will feature ministries that were important to Kloess in order to help teach participants about kindness opportunities locally, regionally and globally. Guests are asked to bring non-perishable food items to support a Villa Park food pantry, and soda pop tabs for the “Pop Top Dump” collection for Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana Ronald McDonald Houses. A “Kids Zone” will feature games and fun for younger spectators who might not be completing the course.

Event Schedule:

  • 7 a.m. - Onsite packet pick-up and Kindness Camp opens
  • 8 a.m. - 5K Run, Walk, Stroll event begins
  • 8:30 a.m. - Post party
  • 9:30 a.m. - Closing worship and VICTORY lap for all participants and volunteers

Katie Kloess lived her life to the fullest, emulating Christ and embracing the mantra, “Be kind on purpose today.” She was killed in an automobile accident on Dec. 15, 2016, while traveling to coach the girls’ basketball team from Zion Lutheran School in Marengo, IL. Her passing initially cast a darkness upon those mourning, but Kloess’s light inspired the #KindnessforKatie movement, which has extended across Chicagoland and around the world.

The Kloess family holds a combined nine degrees from Concordia-Chicago, where Katie was an award-winning athlete and graduated with academic honors. All proceeds from the Kindness 5K will help fund a scholarship in Katie’s honor to support a student who excels in sharing life, love and light through kindness for others.

For more information, to register online, volunteer or be a sponsor, please visit: or contact Paige Craig, director of Alumni Relations at 888-258-6773 or