Chicago, Take Steps to Find a Cure!

Register to Walk!

The Crohn’s & Colitis Take Steps Walk is one of CCFA’s largest events committed to finding cures for digestive diseases. Our walks offer an incredible day for family, friends and the community to come together in celebration of all their hard work and dedication to our mission.

Our community consists of patients, loved ones, friends and supporters that empower and inspire each other to fight these diseases. Each year we connect with our communities as we fundraise for cures and celebrate our hard work together in supporting our patients.

To date, Take Steps has raised more than $60 million to fund mission-critical research and patient support programs. More than 80 cents of each dollar raised goes directly to funding this mission. Find a walk in your local community and join thousands of others Taking Steps for cures.

2016 register now button



Date: Saturday, June 11, 2016

Location: Horner Park - 2741 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (click here for map)

Time: Registration begins at 9:00am | Walk starts at 10:00 

Distance: The Walk route is just over 2 miles long on the walking path around Horner Park

The Take Steps Walk will take place rain or shine, so please dress accordingly!

Additional Walk Facts

  • Leashed dogs are allowed
  • No bikes or roller blades please
  • Strollers are allowed
  • Festivities will include a DJ, bounce house for the kids, face painting and balloon maker. 
  • Vendors – make sure to visit our vendor tables and get your vendor passport card stamped in order to be entered into a raffle for some great prizes. You will receive your vendor passport card at registration. Once your card is stamped by all the vendors, please return it to the DJ by the stage area and a winner will be picked at the end of the walk.
  • Contests – After the Walk, we will be having a friendly competition of who has the most creative customized team shirt. This will be based of audience applause so getting your clapping hands ready!


Take Steps spreads awareness about IBD throughout our community while raising crucial funds to fuel the mission-critical research, education and support services of CCFA. As we continue to strive to surpass our local fundraising goal of $125,000 we want to recognize those who are leading our efforts through your team and individual fundraising. 

Congratulations to our Top 5 Fundraising Teams (as of 6.3.16)

  • University of Chicago Medical Center - $4,720
  • Team Francesca - $3,650
  • TEAM NICK - $3,220
  • LoveLaila - $2,250
  • Noah's Pride - $2,100


Your help is needed...A lot of work goes into making a successful Walk and volunteers make the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) Take Steps Walks happen. We are creating a Planning Committee for the 2016 Chicago Take Steps for Crohn's & Colitis Walk and we would love for you to be part of this incredible opportunity. Please email or call me if you would like to be on the Planning Committee or need more information at (773) 616-6381 or




Each year, we honor a select few kids and adults affected by Crohn's or colitis who exemplify hope and strength while recognizing the need to give back. At various ages and different stages of disease, our honored heroes inspire us to keep fighting. They are committed to raising funds for research and support, and are determined to keep taking steps until we find a cure. We owe it to these, and all IBD patients, to do our part by spreading awareness for IBD, advocating for patients' rights, and raising $1250,000 towards a cure!

Andrea Nowakowski 2016 Honored Hero 1

Andrea Nowakowski
Andi's Team

Andrea “Andi” was only 9 when she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Now in high school, she is an active teenager who runs cross country, holds a 4.5 GPA and is determined to find a cure. As she says “It doesn't define me, it's just a part of who I am.”

read my story

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 The MVP Program was created to recognize top teams and individuals going above and beyond to provide hope, inspire action and find cures through fundraising efforts and outreach! 

You can be an Awareness Builder by raising $100.

You can be a Hope Giver by raising $1,000.

Your team can become a Cures Believer when you reach top team status of raising $5,000 or more.


Here are a few proven tips to help you have a rewarding and successful walk experience with your team! We're all working together to fund research for a cure, but the competition to take the top fundraising award is fierce!

Step 1: Set a realistic and meaningful goal for your team
There is no cost to register and no fundraising minimum. It is up to you to set a personally meaningful and significant goal for you and your team. Communicate that goal to your team members and work together to achieve it by dividing the goal among each other.

Step 2: Write personal fundraising letters & emails
Compose a passionate and individualized letter about why you are walking and how people can support your fundraising efforts. Pro tip: send a letter to each person you mail your Christmas/Holiday cards to!

Step 3: Recruit participants
Ask your friends, neighbors, family members and co-workers to join your team and help you to spread awareness and reach your team’s fundraising goal through their contacts. More people asking for support = more money raised for the mission!

Step 4: Raise money
The national fundraising average per person is $250. Encourage each of your team members to beat the national average.  Lead by example, by making the first donation your own! Approach the businesses you frequent, or even better, ask your own company to help out by hosting a fundraiser or sponsoring. Not sure where to start? Contact Heidi and she'll help you set something up! Email or call 773-616-6381.

Step 5: Create excitement
Design a team t-shirt or a unique team name, post flyers in your neighborhood, and share information on social media! Nothing is more powerful than an engaged and excited team!

Step 6: Celebrate your team’s success
Attend the Walk. Take a team photo. Eat, drink and celebrate raising funds to find cures for Crohn's and colitis! Don’t forget to send thank you notes when you’re all done!

NEW on Walk Day: CCFA Store!

Spread awareness year round by purchasing some of our brand new Take Steps items which will be available at the CCFA Store on walk day! Be sure to bring cash, check, or credit/debit card and swing by the tent on walk day! Don't forget to check out the other new enhancements we're bringing to walk day in 2016. 

ccfa store items.jpg

Price listing




Have you collected donations that need to be applied to your fundraising page?

CCFA Illinois Chapter
Chicago Take Steps Walk
2200 E. Devon Ave
Suite 392
Des Plaines, IL 60018
Attention to: Heidi Merritt 

Be sure to write mention your team name and team member that the donation needs to be applied to.