Thank you for sharing the inspirational story of Mary Jane Runyan and her beautiful home. [New kitchen a welcome distraction,, Jan. 13] Ms. Runyan is a truly amazing person. Her ability to continue to provide care and support to those around her, despite her personal fight with cancer, is truly something that we can all learn from and aspire to.

Beyond the amazing feats that you review in your article, the Runyans’ efforts to support our community even extend to opening their home in the 2010 Parenthesis Family Center Kitchen Walk. As if this family was not busy enough, they will now be sharing their remarkable kitchen remodel with 1,000 guests touring homes on April 24. As board director for Parenthesis Family Center, and co-chairs of this annual event, we thank Mary Jane and her family for their willingness to find another way to help others in our area.

The 25th Annual Parenthesis Family Center Kitchen Walk will allow guests to tour 10 remarkable homes, like the Runyans’, showcasing the beauty of major renovations in Oak Park and River Forest. All the proceeds from this event benefit Parenthesis Family Center, a nonprofit organization in Oak Park with the mission of assisting families of various means and needs by providing ceaseless support and serving as an advocate for the modern-day family in our community. Through a range of programming, Parenthesis provides council and support to teen, single and struggling parents, as well as those who are simply looking for community and peer interaction.

Learn more about Parenthesis Family Center and the 2010 kitchen walk at, or email Bonnie Andorka at

Stephanie Kiesling and Brooke Marks
2010 Parenthesis kitchen walk co-chairs

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