Attack the Pack: Opportunity Enterprises 2019 Packathon

Attack the Pack: Opportunity Enterprises 2019 Packathon
By: Mandy Haack Last Updated: September 23, 2019

With over 20 years in the books, the annual Opportunity Enterprises’ (OE) Packathon was yet another exciting success. 

OE was packed to the brim with more than 700 community volunteers ranging from all walks of life. People lined the room, passing and filling bags to the beat of the music blaring from the speakers. Each year the nonprofit broadens their support to contribute to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon by packing up to 50,000 bags for participants. In return for their hard work, OE receives a generous donation. 

“Our sponsors have been very generous. We have customized shirts, food, and refreshments here today because of the twenty sponsors that contributed to making this a great experience for our volunteers,” said Amy Wulf, Event Coordinator.  

“We have volunteers from high school, middle school,  college, businesses, and others who individually volunteer their time. It’s a large mix of our community here,” Wulf said. 

Each bag, filled with sponsored goodies, such as granola bars and product samples, is given to Chicago Marathon runners when they check in to the race, many of whom live in the Region. 

Over the past eight years, Kacie Ensign, Development Director at OE, has seen a Packathon or two. Every year, she’s grateful for the generosity of her community. 

“The energy is high all day,” Ensign said. “Having over 700 volunteers just shows how giving our community is. People here want ways to get involved and give back.”

OE CEO, Neil Samahon, expressed why events like these are important for the Region. 

“This event is multipurpose. We are able to use this as a fundraiser, but more importantly, this event is here to engage the community,” Samahon expressed. “This gives them the opportunity to visit our facility and get excited to help OE. “

“Volunteers feel the importance of working together as a community.  It’s all about contributing back,” Samahon explained. 

Packathon at OE Main 2019

Packathon at OE Main 2019 48 Photos
Packathon at OE Main 2019Packathon at OE Main 2019Packathon at OE Main 2019Packathon at OE Main 2019

Opportunity Enterprises gives a big thanks to the sponsors who generously donated to the 2019 Packathon. They include: 

Pulse Technology, State Farm Jim Jacobsen Agency, Von Tobel, 1st Source Bank, Associated Pediatricians. Chester Inc., Inman’s, New Age Telecom, Papa John’s, Entertainment Express, American Licorice Company, BMO Harris Bank, Family Express, Stans Painting & Decorating, Qubit Networks, Oak Partners Inc., Centier Bank, Tera’s Sporty Ink, Action Water, Strack & Van Til, The Times, and Starbucks. 

 If you are interested in the work being done at Opportunity Enterprises and want to contribute, visit