The temperature was below freezing on Friday, Dec. 31, but that didn’t stop people from participating in the Rettler Run to benefit the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial and Education Center in Kewaskum.
The 5K run/walk was headed up by Pete Rettler, the dean of Moraine Park Technical College’s West Bend Campus, who has not missed a single day of running since making a New Year’s bet with a friend in 1993. Since then, Rettler has averaged running about 2.5 miles each day.
When he completed the Rettler Run on New Year’s Eve day, Rettler officially made his running streak 28 years of running at least a couple miles every day. He also succeeded in raising $7,266 for the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial and Education Center.
“We are overwhelmed by everyone’s support and generosity. It could not have been possible without the support of each person who participated and donated,” said Fuzz Martin, president of the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial.
Funds that were raised will be used not only to maintain the memorial, but also to add updates as needed. In addition, funds will go to help promote education to students and families across the state.
“We want to always keep the memorial new and fresh, and keep people interested in learning about Sept. 11, 2001,” Martin said.
Rettler started hosting the Rettler Run several years ago to raise funds for a good cause. This year, he surpassed his personal goal of raising $5,000 for the memorial to help promote education of the events of 9/11 to students, families and others throughout Wisconsin.
It is an important cause; the need can be seen even locally.
“My daughter goes to Kewaskum Elementary School, and her first-grade teacher was 11 years old when Sept. 11 happened. And if you think about that, the people who teach our kids are going to have to be taught about 9/11. Generations upon generations are going to need to be taught about the events of 9/11.”
Last week’s untimed fun run/walk began at the Kewaskum Municipal Building Annex, located directly behind the Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial at 1308 Fond du Lac Ave. in Kewaskum. After running or walking the course, everyone gathered in the annex building for refreshments and a chance at winning numerous door prizes.
Event sponsors included: Wallace Lake Supper Club, Cousins Subs, Dunn Brothers Coffee, Tennies Ace Hardware, Jeffrey S Szukalski, Mike Chevalier, Duquaine Concrete & Masonry, West Bend Elevator Inc, Candyman On Main, Jeff’s Spirits On Main, EPIC Creative, Schloemer Law Firm, S.C., American Companies and Baird – The Nowack Group.
“It has been a heavy lift to get this memorial built, but we are very proud to have this in our community,” Martin said.