The third annual UNMC Skate-a-thon for Parkinson’s wrapped up at noon Saturday, highlighted by four skaters making it through all 24 hours on the ice.
The four skaters were Jim Hinrichs, Kevin Powers, John Seminara and Ronnie Stark. More than 500 skaters paid $10 to participate.
“Some friends and I go swing dancing Friday nights and a group of us came ice skating after swing dancing," said Dena Rennard. "We were there first and got here about midnight and we stayed through the skivvy skate. It’s not as cold as last year so we’re still here, but we’re going to turn in pretty soon to get warmed up I think.”
Rennard said the temporary rink gave people a chance to help others and provided a fun, late night activity.
“What an effort,” said Ted Wuebben, whose family started the skate-a-thon in 2008 by flooding their back yard. “It’s almost unimaginable what they did. They are all personal friends of our family and I couldn’t be prouder of them for stepping up and making this happen.”
The event raised about $20,000 according to Jenny Knutson, daughter of Ted and Colleen Wuebben. This year’s skate-a-thon served as a memorial for Colleen, who died last year at the age of 60. She had battled Parkinson’s since 2005.
The money will benefit Parkinson’s research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Parkinson’s Health Development, a nonprofit program that offers affordable exercises and activities to improve the quality of life for Parkinson’s patients.