Kickoff meeting for May event is set for Monday
By Ed Nadolski
Editor in Chief
Although Burlington’s Hope Walk is still nearly three months away, local residents can support the annual fundraising event when they visit several local stores.
Gooseberries Fresh Market is first among the local retailers to offer shoppers the option of purchasing Hope Walk “shoe bucks” when they check out.
By making a donation to the event – which benefits health-related research, education and equipment for the Burlington area – shoppers can write their name on a “shoe buck” and have it displayed in the store, according to Jan Ludtke, a Hope Walk Committee member.
Other local retailers who will participate in the campaign in the coming months, according to Ludtke, include Sentry, Oldenburg Insurance, Mays Insurance, The Coffee House at Pine and Chestnut, Bulletin Printing and Office Supplies, and Chocolate Expressions.
In the past 12 years, the Hope Walk has raised $915,000 to help combat life-limiting illness impacting the Burlington community. Organizers are hoping this year to generate the $85,000 needed to push the campaign over the $1 million mark.
The 2013 event is scheduled for Saturday, May 18, at the Burlington High School athletic field and marks the second year under a new format.
After 11 years as an 18-hour walking relay, the Hope Walk has been streamlined to a six-hour event that begins with a survivors’ lap and culminates with the Candle of Hope luminary ceremony.
Organizer Judy Bratz said the new format was well received last year and is hoping for an even better turnout in 2013.
Among the events planned for this year are a Zumbathon, a barbecue dinner and a dusk run.
“It’s such a positive thing for the community and to be able to keep the money locally is important,” Ludtke said.
Local residents are encouraged to begin organizing teams now to collect pledges and participate in the Hope Walk.
According to Bratz, a kickoff meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 25, at 5:30 p.m. at the Aurora Wellness Center on McCanna Parkway.
The meeting is a great way for those interested in the event to learn more and pick up fundraising materials and team packets.
Anyone interested in participating may contact Bratz at (262) 763-5319 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations may also be made online at www.OurHopeWalk.org.
Among the beneficiaries of last year’s funds are Aurora Memorial Hospital of Burlington, Aurora Visiting Nurse Association, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Oncology Department.
“Very few people haven’t used one of our beneficiaries in some way,” Bratz said.