UNMC Skate-a-thon for Parkinson's raises about $20,000

Amazingly, four skaters skate all 24 hours

The 4th annual UNMC Skate-a-thon for Parkinson’s wrapped up at noon today highlighted by four skaters making it through all 24 hours on the ice.

The four skaters – Jim Hinrichs, Kevin Powers, John Seminara and Ronnie Stark – pulled off a feat that may never have been accomplished before. An Internet search for longest continual time on ice skates produced no comparable results.

“What an effort,” said Ted Wuebben, whose family started the started the 24-hour 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.”

Amazingly, this year’s skate-a-thon was blessed with moderate weather after an exceptional stretch of bone-chilling weather in Omaha.

Donations are still pouring in, but early returns would indicate that the event will raise in the neighborhood of $20,000, said Jenny Knutson, who is the daughter of Ted and Colleen Wuebben and one of the key organizers of the event.

This year’s skate-a-thon served as a memorial event for Colleen, who died nearly 11 months ago at the age of 60. She had battled Parkinson’s since 2005.

Proceeds go toward:

  • Clinical and basic science Parkinson’s research at UNMC; and
  • The PHD Program (Parkinson’s Health Development), a non-profit, local program that offers affordable exercises and activities to improve the quality of life for persons with Parkinson’s.

Nearly 430 skaters participated in this year’s event and about 1,000 people attended the festivities held at the UNMC Ice Rink.

People who wish to donate can still make a pledge by going to http://www.unmc.edu/publicrelations/skateathon.htm.

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Tom O'Connor
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-4690 (office)
(402) 650-7063 (cell)