Mayor’s Youth Council Runs Away with Another Win

Mayor’s Youth Council Runs Away with Another Win

It may have been overcast, but the annual Mayor’s Youth Council Color Fun Run was a brilliant success. With more than double the attendees from the year prior, there was nothing but laughter and shouts of glee as almost 500 participants worked through six different color stations and six different obstacles over a 1.5-mile course.

City of Valparaiso Mayor Youth Council Color Fun Run 2023

City of Valparaiso Mayor Youth Council Color Fun Run 2023 255 Photos
City of Valparaiso Mayor Youth Council Color Fun Run 2023City of Valparaiso Mayor Youth Council Color Fun Run 2023City of Valparaiso Mayor Youth Council Color Fun Run 2023City of Valparaiso Mayor Youth Council Color Fun Run 2023

Proceeds went to the Valpo Parks which partnered with the Mayor’s Youth Council. The Mayor’s Youth Council had contacted Valpo Parks to have this as a project last year for the end of their youth council session. It was such a success it returned as Valpo Park's special event this year. The Youth Council's new ideas were incorporated this year such as the t-shirt signing station and decorating station. They were also tasked with gathering the volunteers. In return, they recruited more than 50 volunteers.

“We would like to thank our sponsors, the Valpo Youth Program, the Valpo schools, and Glendale Church. It was a team effort,” said Cristina Darr, Director of Special Events.

“Last year was such a success, we updated the event this year to include obstacles. It has taken months of planning,” said Darr. “One of our goals at this event was to make it affordable for families to go so we offered family ticket packs and free activities.”

Abigail Ramirez is the Special Events Manager at Valpo Parks.

“We wanted to make the Youth Council vision happen and have the community enjoy it. The event is focused on the fun aspect and getting families out,” said Ramirez. Her favorite event was the Crawl Under, aka, the Army Crawl. A thought echoed by Christina Sherlock.

Sherlock was there with her husband as well as several co-workers from Northwest Health. Sherlock discovered the event on Facebook and talked her friends into attending. She had scoped out the course online ahead of time. “I am looking forward to the Army Crawl,” said Sherlock. After the event, Sherlock confirmed it had been worth the wait. "It was fantastic!"

Jackie Makowske attended with her eight-year-old daughter Violet. Makowske’s sister had been to the event last year and recommended it. Violet, whose favorite color happens to be purple, was looking forward to jumping through the hoops obstacle.

Maggie Clifton is the Community Engagement Director for the City of Valparaiso.

 “I think it is always fun at the starting line when everyone does their individual color packet. Obstacle-wise, I really like the bubble machine through the woods,” said Clifton. “It is really exciting to make this a family night out, not just a run," said Clifton.

Ava Smrzlick and Miles O’Shea are supporters and members of the Mayor’s Youth Council. Both aspire to be in politics and government. They appreciate the learning opportunity the Mayor’s office has provided through volunteering and working events such as this.

“I have had such a good time,” said Smrzlick. “We really want to thank Maggie Clifton. She has made this entire year so good. We are so lucky to have her.”

Challenges in planning were present but resolved quickly. “Once everyone teamed up and we were able to gather all the ideas it turned out to be really great,” said O’Shea. “Any sophomores who are looking to join the Mayor’s Youth Council should. This is a lot of fun,” said O’Shea.

The next event is the Touch a Truck at Central Park Plaza Sunday, June 11. For more information visit