Sept. 26, 2013
MADISON, Wis. -- Most college students reserve their Sundays for sleeping in and catching up on homework, but on Sept. 22, Wisconsin student-athletes spent a day making a difference and volunteering at the annual Walk & Run for Wishes event at the Alliant Energy Center.
"Make-A-Wish is a really awesome cause that gives back to kids who are going through a really rough time in their lives," said UW swimmer Katie Delaney. "It was cool to see some of the Wish Kids run by. Just cheering for them and pointing them in the right direction for the run was awesome.
"It was really great to see how many people turned out to support these kids."
Twenty-one UW student-athletes from the women's track and cross country and women's swimming and diving teams volunteered at the event. They helped race participants by answering questions, directing them on where to go during the run, handing out prizes and awards and cleaning up after the race.
The annual Walk & Run for Wishes is an event that raises funds for Make-A-Wish Wisconsin. Make-A-Wish Wisconsin grants the wishes of children ages 2 1/2 to 18 that are living with life-threatening medical conditions.
The Badgers were happy to see one familiar face in the crowd -- that of 14-year-old Darien Moran, whose wish to have a Badgers-themed bedroom was fulfilled by the Wisconsin football team over the summer. Moran served as the Front Runner for the race.
"The Badger football team's experience with Darien really opened our student-athletes' eyes to the impact Make-A-Wish Wisconsin has," said Kayla Gross, community relations coordinator for UW Athletics. "It is a cause they have all taken to heart. That was evident in the great turnout of student-athletes for the Walk & Run for Wishes."
For many of the student-athletes, volunteering at the race only further affirmed their support of the organization.
"It was a lot of fun," said swimmer Jenny Holtzen. "It was neat to see all of the teams and all of the people that came out to support the cause and give money to such a great organization that does really incredible things for kids who deserve it."