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Running on community building, donuts: Special Olympics WI teams up with Police

10th annual 5k Night Walk/Run helps raise funds for Special Olympic athletes, variety of activities presented
Posted at 10:13 AM, Sep 22, 2023
  • This marks the 10th year that the 5k night walk/run has brought the community together to raise funds for Special Olympics Wisconsin.
  • The event has raised close to $500,000 to support transportation, gear, health resources and other areas of need for the Special Olympic teams.
  • UW-Oshkosh Acting Police Chief Chris Tarmann said he has been part of the process in putting the event together since its first year. He said this event is all about building a better relationship with the community.

UW-Oshkosh Acting Police Chief Chris Tarmann's involvement with the 5k walk/run spans a decade-long.
"We're actually getting close to having raised about a half million dollars in that window of time for Special Olympics," Tarmann said. "They just love the environment to this and I just like hanging out with them, they're like this contagious happy."

Members of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Wisconsin organized the Thursday night event and the funds raised go a long way.

"Everything from transportation to gear to practice venues to state competition health resources, we provide ample opportunities for strong minds program for healthy smiles," said Special Olympics Wisconsin special events senior director Brytt Biesemeier. "We've partnered with the Lions Club and we've handed out hundreds of glasses to athletes who didn't even know they had a vision problem."

The event also provides a variety of activities from a vehicle expo to a donut-eating contest. The main event is the 5k walk/run and kid's run.

"The idea about creating this was to build a connection between our community members and our law enforcement to serve an organization that actually does something wonderful for athletes," Tarmann said.

Oshkosh is one of four statewide Run with the Cops locations in 2023.

Wausau will host a similar event on Sept. 28, River Falls is next on Oct. 3 and Wisconsin Rapids will host the final event on Oct. 5.