Scott Cupper, a self-described “public transportation fiend” never thought that he would use the Yellow Line (AKA the Skokie Swift) when he moved to Chicago, but he rides it everyday to the Skokie office where he works as an Administrative Aid for Community Services, a department which includes Holocaust Community Services, JCARES, Jewish Healing Network of Chicago, Project Esther, Project Shield, and Family Strengthening. Inspired by his department's impact on clients that he meets at the office and out in the community, Scott is running the marathon for Community Services.
A member of the Strange Tree Group, an award-winning theater troupe, Scott acts in 4 plays a year. He began acting in high school and enjoys the tangible, immediacy of theater. He even met his wife, a social worker and occasional actress, while acting in “Boys Next Door." Scott is currently preparing for a role in "Cheaper by the Dozen" at his church. Scott can be seen in a series of promotional videos for JCFS’ A Striking Event found on the JCFS YouTube Channel.
Scott has never run a marathon, but he knows it’s possible. He says, “My dad ran marathons, so it’s always been something I knew that I could do, more of a ‘when’ than a ‘how’.”
What inspired you to run/walk the Bank of America Chicago Marathon with Team JCFS?
Dana asked me. Just kidding. Kind of. My dad ran a marathon when I was younger, so I always had it as a goal to run one myself, but I could never get my act together and figure out when registration was. Turns out it’s in February. Really? Who plans for anything 8 months in advance? And yes, I got engaged and married in 6 months. Anyway, the combined circumstances of always wanting to, Dana asking me, and getting to help JCFS in the process resulted in me committing on February 1 to running 26.2 miles on October 7.
What program are you running/walking for?
After the idea of a gladiatorial fight where the last program standing would gain my full support was roundly denounced, I decided I’d run for all the Community Services: HCS, JCARES, JHNC, Project Esther, Project Shield, and Family Strengthening.
How does JCFS Redefine What’s Possible? or Describe one moment when you knew that your work with JCFS made a difference in someone’s life?
I’m an Administrative Aide. I always tell people I could be doing this job downtown in some big office building where people are trying to find new and interesting ways to make more money than they did yesterday. Here, I know that what I do supports the clinicians, who support the clients. I see the bereaved and the Holocaust survivors and the counseling clients come in with hurts and needs and find a place where those hurts and needs are met.
What will you be thinking about at mile 20?
6.2 more to go. (I’m pretty logical.) Though when I ran the half-marathon 2 years ago, I did start to choke up when I saw the finish line. I had to calm myself down so I could continue to breathe and get the oxygen I needed to actually finish the thing.
What food will you hunt down after the race to replenish those 2600 calories?
Deep dish pizza. Preferably Pizzeria Uno with the works. Amazingly enough, this will probably still send me over my calories for the day. But hey, I just ran a marathon!
What do you love about running/walking?
There are many things:
I love that it’s you against yourself. I have to run with a watch. I want to see my time get better.
I love the feeling of my feet hitting the pavement. On the hard days, if feels like I’m running in a foot of water; on the best, my feet are devouring pavement.
Perhaps most of all, I love the potential energy. Knowing that at any given moment, I can drop what I’m doing and run for an hour and not stop.
Also: I run, therefore I eat.
Visit Scott's Team JCFS Fundraising Page and help him meet his goal of raising $1,000 for Community Services