Dec. 29, 2018 – Washington Co., WI – Today I completed 24 years, 363 days of not missing a day of running. That’s 9,128 days in a row and run No. 24 of the 25 Runs of Gratitude for United Way of Washington County.
“His run is a thread piercing every day of the last 10 years, holding together like a necklace or bracelet of charms.” Crocker Stephenson of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote that in an article when my streak reached 10 years in 2004.
The 25 Runs of Gratitude has been a similar experience, each run seems to be intertwined with another run, or somehow connected to my life in Washington County.
Ramiro Paz is on the Board of Directors for Casa Guadalupe and ran with me for the first part of the run today. I recently met Ramiro at a networking event for Hispanic students in Washington County.
Amy Boettge who works at Aurora in Hartford joined us again for the run. I ran with Amy back on run No. 2 when she represented Interfaith Caregivers. Amy participated as an agency on run two and as a sponsor on run 24. I ran with Julie Kranz for most of the run today. Julie is an emergency room nurse at Aurora in Hartford and a fellow Hartford alum. Julie is cousins with one of my co-workers at Moraine Park.
Shane Oppermann joined us for the 10th time today. Shane first ran with us near the start of the runs as an employee of that day’s sponsor, Alexssa Enterprises, LTD. Shane later combined with Dunn Brothers to sponsor an entire run.
Two other good friends, Phil Dahlberg and Ed Duquaine, also sponsored today for their companies, the Dahlberg Law Group and Duquaine Concrete and Masonry.
Noelle Braun, the Executive Director of Casa Guadalupe, and I have served on numerous boards and committees together over the last few years. So many friends and colleagues combined to make the 25 Runs of Gratitude a huge success.
Today we ran for Casa Guadalupe. Casa serves members of the local Hispanic community (typically limited English proficiency, lower income, and uninsured or underinsured with health programs). Programs seek to increase health education and combat chronic illnesses and connect them with community-based resources available to them. I have been involved with their Dream to Succeed program. This program builds off and expands previously supporting education programming, Read to Succeed, and focuses on a low-income population that is at high risk for not achieving high school graduation or levels of literacy and planning needed to succeed in post high school education. I also have known Casa Founder Mary Lynn Bennett for years and Mary Lynn is a valued member of the United Way Board of Directors.
Sunday, Dec. 30, I will go on a quiet run with my family, our run with the Senior Center has been prerecorded. One more run to go and the 25 Runs of Gratitude are complete. Two more runs to go and my streak extends to 25 years.