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Nichols Middle School supporters are hoping to raise $20,000 in the Evanston school’s 7th Annual Walk-a-thon in memory of a former teacher next week.

Nichols Has Heart, the walk-a-thon that was launched six years ago to memorialize teacher Sandy McDermott, who died suddenly of a heart attack at the school in 2008, raises funds for various community causes, including college scholarships for Nichols alumni who go on to graduate from Evanston Township High School.

Since its inception, the walk has raised in excess of $120,000 in donations, according to its organizers.

The nearly 5-K walk is run by a committee of teachers, retired teachers, parents, and community members.

It begins at the school at 800 Greenleaf St., at noon on Friday, May 30, circles around St. Francis Hospital, heads east towards the lake, north around Elliott Park, and back to the school.

For the first time, participants will also be able to walk past the newly dedicated Sandy McDermott Memorial Bench at Elliott Park, where Ms. McDermott walked nearly every day, organizers said.

A website has been created that has more information and facilitates donations.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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