updated 4/26/2011 6:48:24 PM ET 2011-04-26T22:48:24

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., April 26, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Junior League of Orange County, Calif., Inc., (JLOCC) has organized a team of 50 runners to compete in the OC Marathon.   Ladera Ranch resident Jennifer Glava, who currently holds the title of Mrs. California, as well as JLOCC board members Gwendolyn Black (Huntington Beach), Kelly Cornell (Irvine), Valerie Hannah (Anaheim Hills), Jennifer Jackson (Newport Beach), Megan Lester (Huntington Beach), Becky Mandich (Tustin), Sandra Thompson (Foothill Ranch), and board advisor Marilyn Sorensen (Lake Forest) are participating in either the event's Wahoo's 5K or the half marathon.

Marilyn Sorensen's entire family, including her husband and two teenage sons, will participate. In addition, the husbands of board members Carrie Burton, Jennifer Jackson and Gwendolyn Black will run in support of the JLOCC team. The JLOCC is also providing 40 volunteers to assist with the event.

"Being involved with the community is the reason I chose both to compete in the Mrs. California Pageant and to join the JLOCC," notes Jennifer Glava. "Running has become an important part of my fitness program, and supporting the League's effort in this way is a natural for me."   In June, Glava will take over the position as chair of the JLOCC's committee on behalf of the Crittenton Services Connect Program.   Its members mentor girls in the foster care system.

"I'm a fan of 'lead by example,'" says Marilyn Sorensen, an analyst for the Department of Justice and a 20-year member of the League. Her boys Will and Drew are also involved in volunteer projects.

This complement of runners and volunteers is just one of the ways the JLOCC supports the community. Funds raised by the team will benefit the JLOCC and the OC Marathon. The JLOCC team organizers also hope to build awareness of perinatal depression through their efforts.

The OC Marathon is considered as one of the best full and half marathon courses in the state due to its diverse terrain, changing vistas and majestic ocean views.  While the vast majority of marathons are held within one city's limits, the OC Marathon traverses Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine and Santa Ana and boasts a blend of chic coastal scenery, tranquil nature and sophisticated arts and shopping. Additionally, the OC Marathon is USATF certified and can be used as a qualifier for any marathon in the U.S. including Boston, further adding to its allure.

The Seventh Annual OC Marathon is held on Sunday, May 1, 2011.  More than 15,000 runners will participate in the marathon, half marathon, Wahoo's 5K and Kids Run the OC.  An estimated 25,000 spectators line the course and the start line in front of the Newport Beach Marriott and finish line at OC Fair and Event Center, while an additional 30,000 attend the two-day Nutrilite® Health & Fitness Expo which showcases national brands and state of the art footwear and training technology.  More information is available at www.ocmarathon.com .

JLOCC's members actively support the community through collaboration with other Orange County nonprofit organizations.  This year the JLOCC's efforts are directed on behalf of the community in conjunction with groups including the Second Harvest Food Bank Backpack Program, Crittenton Services Connect Program, Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) Reading Program, Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Emancipated Youth Program, Kinship Support Services Program, and the League's Bear Hugs and Bear Necessities Program. The JLOCC members also conduct done-in-a-day volunteer projects through Impact Orange County.

About the Junior League of Orange County, California, Inc.

The Junior League of Orange County, California, Inc., is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.  JLOCC has helped found organizations such as Orangewood Children's Home and the Volunteer Center of Orange County, now known as OneOC.  As a solely educational and charitable organization, the JLOCC's trained volunteers actively support the community through collaboration with organizations that promote and support the health, safety and education of all individuals in Orange County.  A 501(c)(3) organization, the JLOCC reaches out to women of all races, religions, and national origins.  Originally founded in 1956 as the Newport Harbor Service League, the JLOCC is a member organization of the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc.  To learn more about the JLOCC, call (949) 261-0823 or visit www.jlocc.org

CONTACT: Susan Ballou
         (949) 477-3070
         susanballou@att.net

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