14,000 Wisconsinites ran from 12th Street and Wisconsin Avenue to Lake Michigan and raised more than a million dollars in the 35th annual Briggs & Al’s Run and Walk for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Saturday.
The Briggs & Al’s Run and Walk has raised more than $14 million since it began in 1977, funding that has helped provide medical care for more than 340,000 patients a year, according to the foundation’s website.
The proceeds from the first event in 1977 went to the Children’s Hospital for the prosthetic limb bank. Now, proceeds from the event go toward critical care, according to Stacy Bartsch, special events manager for the Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Marquette’s Running Club, Dental Associates and a Marquette University team were among the thousands of runners. The teams placed in second, seventh and 10th place, respectively in the 8K race.
“It says a lot about Marquette because a lot of the teams that placed well in the event were from Marquette,” said Daniel Reiner, a runner for Marquette’s team and freshman in the College of Communication.
For many of the teams affiliated with Marquette, this event hits close to home. Legendary former Marquette basketball coach Al McGuire founded the Briggs & Al’s Run and Walk.
“Al McGuire’s name is all over campus,” Reiner said. “Everyone in Milwaukee knows and loves him.”
For Lauren Peter, a senior in the College of Communication, participating in the event is a way to give support to a good cause. Peter ran with her Alpha Xi Delta sorority sisters.
“Alpha Xi Delta is really involved in the community, and it’s so nice to do something as a sorority,” Peter said. “Running five miles for a good cause won’t hurt me.”
Bon-Ton Stores Inc. which owns Boston Store, the Briggs & Stratton Corporation and Whole Foods Market, been a sponsor of the walk for several years.
“As a member of the Milwaukee community for more than 100 years, we are committed to strengthening and supporting wonderful organizations like Children’s Hospital and the high level of care they provide,” the Briggs & Stratton website says. “Briggs & Stratton believes in its responsibility to help make positive changes in the lives of children, and our partnership with Children’s Hospital helps us achieve that goal.”
Helping those in need holds great importance for many Marquette students and faculty, including Reiner, who said he has run and worked for other causes.
“I’ve done charity runs before, but I’ve never run such a long distance,” he said. “I wanted to push myself to the limit for this cause.”
Not only does the event bring attention to a good cause, it brings the community together, Reiner said.
“There were so many people who ran and walked, and I think that alone says a lot about (McGuire’s) legacy and the community,” he said.