By Kristin Boza
Beverly/Morgan Park native Dominic Loverde is one of this year’s Mercy Home Heroes, a dedicated group of athletes who run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon while raising critical funds to support the children of Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. The Mercy Home Walsh Campus for girls located at 116th and Longwood Drive.
More than 1,400 people are helped through Mercy Home for Boys & Girls each year; the organization opened in 1887 and gives at-risk young people a safe place to live and helps them heal from emotional trauma while engaging in education and career exploration. Mercy Home is 99.4 percent privately funded and donors throughout the United States provide needed funds to help the children receive therapeutic, academic, and vocational resources.
Since he was young, Loverde and his family have been strong supporters of Mercy Home. In 2013, as a law student at Loyola Chicago, Loverde became a tutor at the girls campus.
“I knew I’d have big commitments with school and work, but wanted to devote time and energy towards the community,” he said. “I would rush home from law school courses and head straight to Mercy Home to tutor a high school student. It was a great introduction to the wonderful work that Mercy Home provides. Since then, I’ve grown to love Mercy Home’s work and have found myself getting drawn more and more towards supporting their programs because I’ve been able to observe first-hand the outstanding opportunities they give to Chicago’s youth.”
In 2015, Loverde joined the Mercy Home Associate Board, which supports fundraisers, social events, on-campus learning opportunities for the youth, and programming to discuss life after high school and career options. He now serves as the Associate Board Vice Chair and helps to spearhead various events and programs.
Loverde also love sports and competition, having played baseball at Ridge Beverly, Catholic league soccer, competitive hockey, and lacrosse at the University of Dayton. Through the Mercy Home Heroes program, he was able to gain entry to the Chicago Marathon while fundraising for a cause he holds dear.
“Running the Marathon for Mercy Home is inspiring and extremely motivating, especially during the long training runs,” he said. “Having other Mercy Home Heroes to train with is great for camaraderie. On race day, the marathon route goes down Jackson Street, right in front of the Mercy Home’s main campus; running past and seeing the youth and their support is an unbelievable experience. It’s truly one of the most emotionally gratifying experiences, to see the happiness and joy of everyone involved with Mercy Home.”
There are many opportunities to get involved in Mercy Home here in Beverly/Morgan Park.
“I highly recommend anyone commit just one hour a week to helping out, and I guarantee you will find the experience deeply rewarding,” Loverde said. “There is no better investment than devoting time and energy towards helping children, and Mercy Home provides that perfect outlet.”
To become a Mercy Home Hero and run the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 10, sign up at MercyHome.org/Beverly21 and use offer code BEVERLY21 to gain guaranteed entry to the race for just $1.
Aside from fundraising for Mercy Home, participants will receive a Mercy Home Heroes singlet or t-shirt; free participation in CARA’s Marathon training program; inclusion in all Mercy Home sponsored running events and race weekend activities.