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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

MU community reflects on Al & Brigg’s run cancelation

The run/walk has previously been run for the past 45 years.

The Brigg and Al’s Run & Walk fundraiser for Children’s Wisconsin has been canceled for the 2023 year. The walk has previously been run for the past 45 years.

Last month, Children’s Wisconsin announced that the run and walk will not return this year, as the foundation plans for a new event that will hopefully attract a higher turnout. 

The run has traditionally taken place on Marquette University’s campus and was started by Al McGuire, Marquette’s former men’s basketball head coach.

Andrew Brodzeller, external communications director for Children’s Wisconsin, said that this decision came after the foundation recognized a significant drop in attendance over the years. 

“One of the biggest aspects in canceling the event is the change in participation,” Brodzeller said. “The event had almost 30,000 participants when it had the largest groups in crowds, and that number has definitely gone down. For example, when the event was brought back after the pandemic, the number of participants was only 8,000.”

While he acknowledged that this news may come as a shock to some, Brodzeller said that the decision to cancel the event has been in the works since the conclusion of the 2022 run and walk. 

“We wanted to make sure this event is attracting as many people from the community as possible, which is why we are choosing to take this year to engage with our community and the families of the patients who this event has become most important for,” Brodzeller said. “We really want to explore what kind of event they’re looking for in 2024 and going forward.”

Upon hearing the news, Emil Neidinger, a participant in each of the last 45 runs, said this event has been a tradition in his family for decades. 

“All of my children and grandchildren who are all grown now have done the run in strollers and little wagons, and some of them have run in the event in recent years,” Neidinger said. “I was really trying to make it to my 50th year of running in Brigg and Al’s.” 

Sharon Neidinger, Neidinger’s wife and past participant in the run and walk, said this news saddens her because she believed the fundraiser was always an enjoyable way to support a great cause. 

“We were extremely disappointed when we found out the run is not going to happen this year,” Neidinger said. “Everyone in our family knows you never ask us to go anywhere on that weekend, because we could never miss Brigg and Al’s.”

After reading a statement released by Marquette that announced Children’s Wisconsin’s decision, Niraj Abraham, a first-year student in the College of Health Sciences and a member of Marquette’s running club who ran in last year’s event, said this run and walk was something he expected to continue participating in. 

“I’m really going to miss how this event was able to bring both Marquette, as well as the whole Milwaukee community together to support children’s healthcare,” Abraham said. “I loved watching all of the energy from the participants.”

Brodzeller said Children’s Wisconsin is already planning for a fundraiser event in 2024. Although the details of the new upcoming event are not yet finalized, Brodzeller said people can expect this event to take place on a Saturday in September, similar to when Brigg and Al’s occurred.  

“We’re going to be discussing what other activities and what other aspects of that day will allow for more families to come and participate for a shorter period of time,” Brodzeller said. “Briggs and Al’s is a big time commitment for families, so we anticipate adding aspects to the new event that hopefully allow a larger part of our community to come and participate.”

For those hoping to break out their running shoes once again for this event, Brodzeller said not to worry. 

“Children’s is committed to having an event in 2024, and while we don’t know exactly what that event will look like yet, we do have a strong desire that in some way or form, a version of the Brigg and Al’s Run & Walk is part of the event,” Brodzeller said. 

Timothy Littau contributed to this report.

This story was written by Erin Howard. She can be reached at e[email protected] 

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Erin Howard
Erin Howard, Copy Editor
Erin Howard is a sophomore from Clarendon Hills, Illinois and is studying journalism. This year, Erin will serve on the Marquette Wire as a Copy Editor. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys running and listening to music. Erin is very excited to get to know more people on each branch of the Wire and share the important stories happening around campus.

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