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ESPN Chicago and Bernie’s book bank walk to transform the story for Chicagoland children through book ownership.

The 5th Annual Walk As One Chicago!

ESPN Chicago’s David Kaplan, ABC 7’s Dionne Miller, ESPN college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla, Darrin Utynek, and supporters walked 20 miles cross town to create pathways through pages for Chicagoland children on June 6th! ESPN Chicago broadcasted live from Cork and Kerry outside of Guaranteed Rate Field.

Inaugural Walk As One Chicago

While you may know David Kaplan as host of Kap & J. Hood on ESPN Chicago he is also a valued supporter of Bernie’s Book Bank. Understanding 2020 was a difficult year, David decided he wanted to do something to bring a hope and unity during these unprecedented times. Thus, Walk As One Chicago was born! On September 29th, 2020, Darrin Utynek, CEO of Bernie’s Book Bank joined David for a 29 mile walk from Ohio St. Beach in Chicago to Jens Jensen Park to raise awareness and support for Bernie’s Book Bank. The goal was to raise $87,000 to sponsor 29 schools. They exceeded their goal with $90,000+ in donations in 2020!


In 2021, David and Darrin teamed up again for the second annual Walk As One Chicago. A team of walkers joined them for an impressive 24 miles across Chicago from the United Center to Northwestern University. They made stops at every major sports stadium in Chicago including Wrigley Field, Sox Park and Soldier Field. In total, the 2021 walk raised $150,000! This is a $60,000 increase from the inaugural walk in 2020.


The third annual WAOC route started at Guaranteed Rate Field, traveling by Wrigley Field and ending at Guaranteed Rate Field for a post-walk celebration at the White Sox game! The unique part of the walk was that walkers stopped by Jahn Elementary, where the children received books from Bernie’s Book Bank. Walkers were able to see the impact of their fundraising efforts firsthand. Thank you to the walkers, sponsors, and supporters who helped empower children through book ownership on the third annual WAOC.


In partnership with ESPN Chicago, David Kaplan, and Bernie’s Book Bank CEO Darrin Utynek teamed up to raise funds in support of Bernie’s Book Bank. The 20-mile walk started and finished in Bub City in Rosemont, IL where ESPN Chicago was broadcasting live all day. With stops like Allstate Arena, and John F. Kennedy Elementary School, the 4th WAOC was one to remember.

View gallery below for a look at previous Walk As One Chicago photos:

Looking for more ways to engage with our mission? Learn about additional fundraising events at Bernie’s Book Bank.