In 2006, I was working as development director for the Jesus Center. I had the rare privilege of being at the ground floor of Run for Food. I got to see Janine and Michael Reale take up a call to invest in their community.

Many words come to mind when I think of this contribution. They showed courage to step out of their comfort zone to dream big. They exhibited perseverance to create an excellent event that not only raised a heck a lot of money, but honored the volunteers who were the backbone of the event. Change: this family and their team has changed our community. The Run for Food has become a tradition. They have led the community to give of our time, to serve with abandon. They have modeled true, sacrificial, joyful service in the flesh. The Reales are the real deal: selfless, tireless, kind; giving of time and talent to serve community, the poor, and their Lord.

This year marks the Reales’ last year in leadership for the Run for Food. Our community is a better place because of what the Reales have invested to change the way we celebrate Thanksgiving.

On behalf of the Jesus Center Board of Directors, the volunteers past and present, the members of the community, and of the hundreds of kind, struggling humans who have been blessed by the benefits of the Run for Food I give thanks. May we all follow the Reales’ example to serve our community with abandon.

— Laura Cootsona, Chico