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Ben’s Memorial Mile & Community Festival

We are tentatively planning for Saturday, August 10 in the early evening. Ben's Memorial Mile will have a different feel this year, as we will be switching to a road race along with our usual community festival and afterparty. Stay tuned for more information!

Ben's Memorial Mile is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that runs a running gala and community festival held every summer to raise money and awareness for mental health and suicide prevention in honor of Ben Silver.

Ben's Memorial Mile Logo
Information about our 2024 event:

Pre- and post-event fundraisers:

  • August 6, 2024: Chipotle Mexican Grill (1203 Ogden Ave, Downers Grove, IL 60515) from 5:00pm – 9:00pm. Tell the cashier you are there for the Ben’s Memorial Mile fundraiser to have part of the proceeds donated to our cause! If you are ordering online, use the code N6X9Y66.
  • Stay tuned for more information regarding our event afterparty!

Ben’s Memorial Mile will have a new look this year, as we will have road races followed by our usual community festival, which will be held at Fishel Park in downtown Downers Grove.

Thank You for Being a Part of Ben’s Story

The song “Ben’s Mile”

  • This song was written and played by Chris Ferguson (of Jack the Acquaintance).
  • Vocals are by Clare Collins.
  • Chris was inspired by Ben’s story and wrote this song to honor him.

Recent Updates

Volunteering / Yard Signs

Looking for other ways to help? Let us know if you are interested in volunteering or putting up a Ben’s Memorial Mile yard sign by clicking the link below:

Click here!

Book Available on Amazon

Jamie Silver (Ben’s mom) wrote a book about connecting with Ben. You can find Our Forever Ben: Letters from a Loving Mom to Her Son in Spirit, And His Poetic Replies via the link below.

Learn More

Ben’s Story

Benjamin Lee Silver was not only a son, brother, cousin, friend, teammate, captain, and fierce competitor—he was also a huge figure in his community: an enthusiastic and empathetic person who positively touched those around him. As a student at Downers Grove North High School, he was a four-time all-state athlete well known for his success on the track and cross-country course. Ben continued his athletic and academic pursuits at Miami University of Ohio, a top liberal-arts institution with a storied athletic history. However, during his college career he had a series of injuries and could not run, and his academics struggled as a result. He began acting erratically, and during the summer of his junior year he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, an often misunderstood and misdiagnosed disorder that typically arises in late adolescence and early adulthood. Though Ben’s struggles with this terrible illness eventually led to him taking his life in July 2015, the influence he had as a family member, friend, teammate, captain, and competitor lives on.

Join us this year for the seventh-annual running of Ben’s Memorial Mile, a community running event and celebration of life. Regardless of your ability, there will be an event for you! Join us in celebrating Ben’s life, your life, and all lives, all while raising awareness for mental health issues in the United States. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a former all-stater searching for a new personal best or a couch potato—there will be an event for you. Join us!

Read Ben’s Full Story Play Video

Where Your Money Goes

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is committed to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research.



National Alliance on Mental Illness

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.


Can't make it to an event? Here are two ways you can help!

Donate today or volunteer your time!


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