What started as a back yard event has turned in to a big fundraiser for the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Colleen Wuebben of Omaha was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2005 and wanted to do something to raise money for research. She and her husband, Ted had flooded their back yard in the winter for several years to make an ice skating rink and decided on a skate-a-thon.
The Wuebben’s hosted the event for three years and in 2011 it was moved to UNMC’s Ice Rink at 42nd and Dewey Avenue in Omaha. In the first four years at that location more than $130,000 was raised for Parkinson’s research at UNMC and for their movement disorder program. The Wuebben’s also formed the non-profit Parkinson’s Health Development Program that offers affordable exercise and activities to improve the quality of life for those with the disease. Colleen passed away in 2013 at age 60.
The event starts at noon Friday and continues for 24 hours. A number of skaters remain on the ice the entire time and others form teams and rotate skaters. The public is invited. The cost is $10 for registration and skate rental.