Marquette Wire

Al’s Run tops one million dollars for hospital: Participants share stories

More+than+15%2C000+participants+turn+out+for+Al%27s+Run+and+Walk+for+Children%27s+Hospital.
More than 15,000 participants turn out for Al's Run and Walk for Children's Hospital.

More than 15,000 participants turn out for Al's Run and Walk for Children's Hospital.

Photo by Meredith Gillespie

Photo by Meredith Gillespie

More than 15,000 participants turn out for Al's Run and Walk for Children's Hospital.

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More than 15,000 participants flooded the Marquette campus Saturday morning for the annual Brigg’s and Al’s Run and Walk for Children’s Hospital.

Most people toe start lines preoccupied with stretching hamstrings or drinking water, but some have something more important on their minds.

Monica Geiser, a freshman in the College of Health Sciences, ran Al’s Run for the first time this year in support of her cousin, who had leukemia and was treated at Children’s Hospital.

“We’re here for the kids,” Geiser said. “I think Children’s Hospital does a lot,” she added.

With participants from California to Maryland, Al’s Run has remained Milwaukee’s largest race since its debut in 1978.

“I didn’t realize how big it was going to be,” Ryan Coon, a student in the Graduate School of Management who ran on a team for the company he interns for, said. “The whole place is shut down. I’ve never seen this many people on campus.”

Also among the crowd was Marquette alumni Steve Bruskiewicz, who runs in memory of his first grandson, Jonathan.

“I like to come out and run because it’s for a good cause and the weather is always good,” Bruskiewicz said. “It’s also fun to come back to campus and see everything—the students and the basketball team.”

To reach a greater audience and increase fundraising, some participants chose to enter as a team, designing t-shirts and posters in support of their cause.

Former Marquette nutrition professor Barb Troy walked the five-mile course with Team Schultz in support of her great-nephew, Jacob Schultz.

“We are here for Jacob today,” Troy said. “He gets the best care in the world at Children’s Hospital,” said Troy, who taught nutrition classes.

Team Schultz has participated in Al’s Run for 10 years, and raised $4,500 for Children’s Hospital this year.

“The nurses at Children’s who went to Marquette had my aunt [Troy] as a professor,” team captain Jennifer Schultz said. “It’s nice to see that connection years later, seeing what they learned play into her grand-nephew’s life.”

Adrienne Ridgeway, associate athletic director of Academic Services at Marquette, shared her excitement in running with her five-year-old daughter, Brooke Ridgeway, whom she describes as a ‘Children’s champion.’

Brooke was born with a lack of oxygen to her brain, and according to Adrienne, Children’s Hospital took excellent care of her.

“I’ve always done the race, but after she was at Children’s, it became even more important to me,” Adrienne said. “She was there in the neonatal care intensive unit for two weeks, then came home and has been great ever since.”

Adrienne works in the Al McGuire Center, which is named for the former basketball coach and namesake of Al’s run.

Troy shared her enthusiasm. “It’s a wonderful day celebrating Children’s Hospital and kids who wouldn’t be the same without this hospital,” she said.

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