Would you like to say that you competed in a triathlon – one that doesn’t require you to break a sweat? Well, West Suburban PADS, a Maywood nonprofit that serves the area’s homeless population, will give you the chance this Sunday, Sept. 25. 

Here’s how it works. First, you form a four-person team and pay the $180 entry fee. Then, beginning at 1 p.m., on Sunday, your team will start with either the golf competition at Bushwood Gulf Dome, 30 W. Madison St., in Maywood, or the bowling competition at Circle Lanes, 7244 Circle Ave, in Forest Park. 

At 2:30 p.m. you’ll switch venues, and at 4 p.m. your team will move to Doc Ryan’s, 7432 Madison St., for the dart competition.  Snacks will be provided by the Buzz Café and Vienna Beef at both Bushwood and Circle Lanes; food will also be available at Doc Ryan’s.  What’s more, the Bears game against the Packers will be showing on a large screen during the dart competition, so you won’t miss it.

And, yes, there will be prizes.  The top bowling team will receive bowling towels, free passes to Circle Lanes and PADS T-shirts.  The best golf foursome will get sleeves of golf balls and PADS T-shirts. And the champion darts team will be rewarded with sets of three steel-tipped darts and the PADS T-shirts.  Members of the team with the highest total points for all three competitions will get a sleeve of balls, dart equipment, a pass to Stinger Golf in Oak Park, a gift certificate to a Forest Park restaurant and shirts.

The event’s main sponsor is Forest Park National Bank and Trust. Several other Forest Park businesses are supporting the event, as well.

PADS is putting on The Home Games for two reasons. 

“We realized that we were missing some visibility in Forest Park, our third largest donor base,” explained Heidi Ruehle-May, who works on special events for PADS, “so we decided to create an active event geared more towards younger people, something different than your typical sit-down dinner fundraiser.”  The PADS staff thought about which businesses were in Forest Park and designed the event accordingly.

PADS is also trying to maintain as much of its programming as possible in the face of cuts in government funding, on both the state and federal levels.  Lynda Schueler, the director of West Suburban PADS, said that she already had to lay off a part time worker in their emergency shelter program because of the cuts.

PADS opened its first site here in Forest Park in 1992 at the First United Church of Christ. Now, in its 20th year, PADS has grown to an agency with a $2.2 million budget. It serves over 800 men, women and children each year through five programs.

PADS’s emergency shelter at Forest Park’s St. John Lutheran Church, 305 Circle Ave., provides two meals and a place for folks to sleep on Friday nights. Its support services include a center in Maywood, case managers, substance-abuse programs, nurses, access to computers, a place to do laundry, and more. The Career Passport Program puts clients in therapeutic work-readiness groups for six weeks. The transitional housing program is a collaborative effort with landlords throughout the region to help the homeless make a transition to permanent housing. And finally, through its prevention initiative, PADS helps clients with rent, mortgage payments and other bills in an attempt to keep people from becoming homeless.

“We hope to see new faces,” Schueler said.  “This is not going to be a stuffy, chicken-dinner fundraiser.”