Hundreds will take to the ice at the University of Nebraska rink this weekend for the 11th annual UNMC Skate-a-thon for Parkinson’s. It started in 2005 in the back yard of Ted Wuebben. His wife, Colleen was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and they decided to host an event as a fundraiser.
Wuebben says, “We wanted to get the kids out of the house so we would flood the back yard and when we needed to have a fundraiser it was just a natural to do it. It has grown from then.”
Colleen died in 2013 at age 60. The Wuebben family has kept her memory alive by continuing to hold the skate-a-thon every year.
In 2011 it grew to the point they needed a larger space so it was moved to the rink at UNMC. It now includes non-stop music, contests, a pajama skate, a dance party, a shiver skate, yoga and much more.
Wuebben says, “We have families that show up that skate for their mother or father. They will have t-shirts made up for their grandmother. It is just a lot of fun. We do have some skaters that make it the whole 24 hours. It is a challenge but they say after you get done with the first 12 hours the rest is easy.”
Proceeds from the skate go toward clinical and basic science Parkinson’s research at UNMC and to Parkinson’s Nebraska, a non-organization founded by the Wuebben’s that is committed to helping people in the state and surrounding area with the disease.
The skate-a-thon starts today at 2 p.m. and runs for 24 hours. The cost is $15 and that includes skate rental.