TCD’s Guide to Charity Rides, Runs, Walks and more

By - May 7th, 2012 04:00 am

Run, walk, ride, roll, dash, swing and volunteer to raise funds for local charities this season. You’ll be doing something good for your community – and for you! Milwaukee’s many charity events are a great incentive to get fit and enjoy the outdoors. They’ll take you to the beautiful lakefront – sometimes to a summer festival – as well as to county and state parks, and through communities you may have never before explored within the city and beyond.

Often, a celebration with food and entertainment will follow. These are usually family-friendly events and may even have special kids’ activities. Unique t-shirts and other freebies are often included in the registration price. Be sure to register early, as some events have special early bird rates. If you’re not the athletic type, consider becoming a volunteer.


Run for a Reason
Date: Saturdays, once per month, April – December (first run: Saturday, April 28)
Location: InStep Physical Therapy & Running Center, 403 E. Buffalo Street, Milwaukee
Description: Two or four-mile run or walk. Join this social fun run/walk to raise money for a different charity each month. Bring friends and family. Stay for camaraderie and refreshments. No pre-registration: just a $10 day-of-run suggested donation to the charity partner of the month.
Cause: Support a different charity each month. Some charities also accept clothing donations or nonperishable food items. Click here for details.
Contact: (414) 220-4160;

Walk Now for Autism Speaks
Date: Saturday, April 28
Location: Wisconsin State Fair Park, 9000 W. Greenfield Ave., Milwaukee (enter through gate 1 or 5 off of 84th St.)
Description: Two mile walk. Strollers, wheelchairs, and wagons are allowed. Music begins at 10 a.m. and continues until opening ceremonies at 11 a.m. Sophia’s Heart will entertain throughout the event. Music volume will be kept at a reasonable level for sensitive ears. Children’s activities include a bounce house and inflatable slide, temporary tattoos, jugglers, Geoffrey the Giraffe (Toys”R”Us), the famous Klements Racing Sausages, and other Milwaukee mascots. Free refreshments and post-walk gluten-free hot dog lunch.
Cause: Autism Speaks
Contact: (312) 515-1452;

Arthritis Walk of Southeastern Wisconsin
Date: Saturday, May 19, 9 a.m. registration, 10:30 a.m. start
Location: University Lake School, 4024 Nagawicka Rd., Hartland
Description: One or three mile walk. Take in the scenery and walk the beautiful trails of University Lake School. Silent auction from 9 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Post-walk celebration at 11:30 a.m.
Cause: Arthritis Foundation
Contact: (414) 321-3933;

Evangelical Child & Family Agency Bike & Hike
Date: Saturday, May 19, 9 a.m. registration
Location: Bethesda Park, 550 Dunbar Ave, Waukesha
Description: Bike, walk, skate, wagon pull, stroller push, etc. along the scenic, paved Glacial Drumlin Trail. Return to the park for Cousins Subs lunch, kid’s games, prizes and live K-LOVE radio station music and drawings.
Cause: Evangelical Child & Family Agency
Contact: 262-789-1881;

Date: Saturday, May 19, 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. registration, 11 a.m. walk
Location: Veterans Park, 1010 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., Milwaukee
Description: Three mile walk. Packer Ryan Grant is the Honorary Chair and will lead the walk with the highest earning team. The team with the best t-shirt will receive a special award. A children’s activity area will include a clown who does face painting, bubbles, chalk, etc.
Cause: National Alliance on Mental Illness
Contact: (414) 344-0447;

Running for Hope
Date: Saturday, May 19, 8:30 a.m. registration, 9:30 a.m. 10K start, 10 a.m. 5K run and 3K walk start
Location: Brown Deer Park, Picnic Area #8, 7835 N Green Bay Ave., Milwaukee
Description: 5K or 10K run, or 3K walk. Participants will receive the Running For Hope package (t-shirt, race number, pins, map, and booklet). Celebration and awards follow the event, with snacks and drinks provided.
Cause: Running For Hope
Contact: (414) 228-5220 x224 or (414) 687-1571;

Block Melanoma 5K Run and 3K Walk Presented By Ann’s Hope Foundation
Date: Sunday, May 20, 6:45 a.m. registration, 8 a.m. run, 8:15 a.m. kids’ fun run, 9 a.m. walk
Location: Milwaukee County Zoo, 10001 West Blue Mound Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226
Description: 5K run, 3K walk, kids’ fun run. A family-friendly day at the zoo to fight the beast and find a cure for melanoma. Zoo admission and parking included with event entry.
Cause: Ann’s Hope Foundation
Contact: (262) 305-1370;

Laura’s Smile Mile
When: Saturday, June 2, 8 a.m. – 10 a.m registration, 10:30 a.m. start
Where: Veteran’s Park, 1010 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr.
Description: 5K run and 2 mile walk open to all men, women and children. All 5K and 2 mile walk participants will receive Helix running socks and reusable goodie bags. Awards given to the top three overall male and female 5K winners and the first three males and females in each age category. Children’s Giggle Gallop event open to ages 2-8 is approximately 1/8 mile. All participants will receive goodie bags and medals. Other kids’ activities include decorating racing bibs and cupcakes, a bouncy house, and face painting ($1 donation). Post-race party includes live entertainment, food, drinks, and free raffles.
Cause: Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance

UPAF Ride for the Arts
When: Sunday, June 3, start times vary depending upon length of ride
Where: Henry Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr., Milwaukee (South gate: intersection of Polk St. and Harbor Dr.)
Description: UPAF Ride for the Arts, sponsored by Miller Lite, offers 5, 12, 25, 50 and 75-mile bike routes. The various routes travel past several Milwaukee landmarks and continue along the scenic shores of Lake Michigan through numerous Milwaukee-area communities and parks. After the Ride, participants can enjoy the Finish Line Party at the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard Stage on the Summerfest Grounds. The party is free, includes live entertainment and is lots of fun for all. Want to bike with a team? Consider joining ThirdCoast Digest’s team.
Cause: United Performing Arts Fund is among the nation’s largest united arts funds in terms of dollars raised and number of donors. The organization provides financial support to 36 beneficiary groups.
Contact: (414) 276-RIDE (7433) or use this contact form

WPA Golf Open Against Parkinson Disease
Date: Tuesday, June 5, 2012, 11 a.m.
Location: Legend at Brandybrook Golf Club, 1 Legend Way, Wales
Description: An exciting, play-your-own-ball tournament, limited to 100 players, with a cigar station, BBQ lunch, and steak dinnner, as well as a raffle and a limited number of one-of-a-kind auction items. Scholarship opportunities are available!
Cause: Wisconsin Parkinson Association
Contact: (414) 219-7060

Lombardi Golf Classic
Date: Friday and Saturday, June 8 – 9
Location: North Hills Country Club, N73 W13430 Appleton Ave., Menomonee Falls, WI
Description: Player packages at the Vince Lombardi Golf Classic are $995 per person and include one playing spot at the Vince Lombardi Golf Classic; one registration gift package; lunch on Friday; practice round of golf at North Hills Country Club on Friday; two tickets to the Vince Lombardi Golf Gala on Friday evening at the InterContinental, featuring dinner buffets, auction, golf pairings and entertainment; breakfast and lunch on Saturday; 5-man scramble with a celebrity on Saturday (morning shotgun); one guest clubhouse pass; and Vince Lombardi Golf Classic award ceremony on Saturday, including cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The Vince Lombardi Golf Classic is limited to 30 foursomes. Make your reservation early.
Cause: Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation
Contact: (414) 649-7015;

Lombardi Walk/Run
Date: Saturday, June 9, 6:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. registration, 8:15 start, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. tailgate
Location: Milwaukee County Zoo, 10001 West Blue Mound Road  Milwaukee, WI 53226
Description: 3K walk or 5K run. Walk/Run registration includes complimentary same-day zoo admission and parking. The event also includes official chip timing for runners, live music, complimentary snacks and beverages (including annual tradition — free beer).
Cause: Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation
Contact: (414) 649-7015;

LoziLu Women’s Mud Run
Date: Saturday, June 9, waves of 100 – 200 participants departing every 20 minutes from 9 a.m. – noon
Location: Crystal Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area, 7900 W. Crystal Ridge Dr., Franklin
Description: Approximately three miles of thrills. With 10-12 obstacles on snaking dirt trails there is never a dull moment during LoziLu. Wall climbs, queen of the hill, and ropes create a bit of a challenge with balance beams, mazes and a giant slip ‘n slide to turn up the fun! Each obstacle requiring strength or courage is creatively crafted to be accessible to a variety of fitness levels, and every obstacle is optional if your nerves get the best of you.
Cause: Spread happiness, health and fitness throughout the world by leveraging the familial influence of women. At a minimum, 5% of your registration is donated directly to LIFE – Leukemia Ironman Fundraiser for Eric – in order to fight blood cancers. As the event grows, LoziLu plans on growing its donation percentage.

Trek 100 Ride for Hope
When: Saturday, June 9, 7:30 a.m. start for 100 Mile and 100k; 9:30 a.m. for shorter routes
Where: Begins at Trek, 801 W. Madison St., Waterloo
Description: Trek Bicycle Corporation and MACC Fund present the 23rd Annual Trek 100 Ride for Hope – fun, yet challenging experience for riders of all ages and skill levels. Choose your mileage–the 100, 62, 36, or 19-mile routes provide an option for everyone. The entry fee is $45 per rider and includes a 2012 Trek 100 T-Shirt, a pre-ride breakfast, snacks along the routes, and post-ride festivities. All riders must raise at least $1 per mile equal to the number of miles pledged to ride (excludes registration fee).
Cause: Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer
Contact: (800) 248-TREK, (414) 456-5830;

Walk of Lives
Date: Saturday, June 9, 8 a.m. registration, 9 a.m. start
Location: Frame Park, 701 East Moreland Boulevard, Waukesha, WI 53186
Description: 5K walk or run and 150 yard dash high heel sprint. Five hundred women and men (yes, men) anticipated to participated in sprint. Heels must be 3” to qualify. Heron House of Hospitality teams up with Wisconsin Memorial Park to raise money for the homeless.
Cause: Hebron House of Hospitality
Contact: (262) 522-1406;

Justin J. Watt 2nd Annual 5K Run/Walk
Date: Saturday, June 16, 8 – 10 a.m. registration, 10 a.m. start
Location: Horizon School Pewaukee, 404 Lake Street, Pewaukee, WI 53072
Description: Pewaukee native, former Wisconsin Badger and current Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt hosts the 2nd annual JJ Watt Foundation 5K Run/Walk. The event is not held in a race format, so there will be no official timing. After the race there will be raffle winners announced. T-Shifts will be provided for participants which is included in the registration fee of $15.00 per adult and $10.00 per child. The JJ Watt Foundation’s mission is to provide after-school opportunities for children in the community to become involved in athletics. Register at (Dream Big, Work Hard).
Cause: Justin J. Watt Foundation
Contact: (262) 894-6362;

Tour de Cure
When: Saturday, June 16, start times vary depending upon length of ride
Where: Begins at Grafton High School, 1950 Washington St., Grafton
Description: 5 Mile, 25K (17mile), 50K (30mile),100k (60mile) bicycling routes. Many will participate in the Southeast Wisconsin Tour de Cure for the stimulating competition, camaraderie and physical cycling challenge, but the real reward comes in knowing that every mile rode and every dollar raised brings us closer to stopping the disease that affects nearly 26 million Americans. Be one of more than 50,000 riders in 43 states committed to stopping diabetes.
Cause: American Diabetes Association
Contact: (414) 778-5500 x6502;

Harley Ride to End Dog Fighting
Date: Saturday, June 23, 9 a.m. – noon, departures every 30 minutes; 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. rally (Friday, June 22: VIP Pre-registration Party, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.)
Location: Milwaukee Harley-Davidson, 11310 W. Silver Spring Rd., Milwaukee
Description: 80-mile motorcycle ride. All makes and models are welcome for the scenic ride. Don’t have a bike? No problem! The rally at Milwaukee Harley-Davidson will be going on all day. It will include guest emcees, live bands, spectacular raffles, Carrabbas food, vendors, attractions, hourly door prizes, dunk tank, mechanical bull, car-truck & bike wash, ride merchandise and MORE! Or, join the riders along the route with your rescued pet as a show of gratitude!
Cause: End Dogfighting in Milwaukee & Animal Allies programs of Brew City Bully Club
Contact: (262) 533-3057;

Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole Run
Date: Saturday, June 23
Location: Henry Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr., Milwaukee
Description: Perfect Sole Mates: Running and Music! The World’s Largest Music Festival just got a little more sole. New and improved for 2012, the run features new distances (half marathon, quarather marathon and 5K), improved race courses, the opportunity for participants to run the Hoan Bridge, entertainment along the course, participant medals, tech shirts for half and quarter marathoners, a Health & Fitness Expo with Packet Pick-Up, a Post-Race Party on the Summerfest grounds featuring live music and more! Route crosses the Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge, a Milwaukee landmark offering stunning views of the downtown skyline, Lake Michigan and the Summerfest grounds. Registration also includes one (1) FREE Summerfest General Admission ticket, valid any day during Summerfest ($16 value).
Cause: Net proceeds from will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities Eastern Wisconsin and the Summerfest Foundation
Contact: (800) 837-3378;

Brainstorm 3K Walk / 5K Run
When: Sunday, June 24, 7 a.m. registration, 9 a.m. walk/run
Where: Veteran’s Park, 1010 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr.
Description: 5K run, 3K walk, fun run for kids. A family-oriented event and fun for everyone, including the youngest members of your family!
Cause: Epilepsy Foundation of Southeast Wisconsin
Contact: (414) 271-0110 or (414) 271-1994;

Milwaukee Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis
Date: Sunday, June 24, 4 p.m. check-in and festival start, 5:30 p.m. walk start
Location: South Shore Park, 2900 South Shore Dr., Milwaukee
Description: Two mile walk. Take Steps provides the perfect environment for patients and their families to come together and know they are not alone in this fight against inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The night is filled with music, food, kids activities, local entertainment and most importantly the company of hundreds of people who truly understand the impacts of IBD. There is no registration fee to participate in Take Steps but all fundraising participants will receive an event wristband. You must have a wristband to receive food and beverages. Raise $100 and you will receive a Take Steps T-shirt!
Cause: Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America
Contact: (414) 475-5520;

Wheels & Heels Rush on Festa
Date: Thursday, July 19, 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. registration, 6:55 p.m. start
Location: Marcus Amphitheater, 200 N Harbor Dr. Milwaukee
Description: 5K wheelchair/handcycle race, 5K run, or fun walk/casual wheelchair. All participants get in free to Festa Italiana after the race – what a perfect way to celebrate the festival’s opening night!
Cause: National Spinal Cord Injury Association Southeaster WI Chapter – All proceeds go to help those living with spinal cord injury/disease by offering financial assistance to those in crisis who lack proper equipment, by providing peer counseling to individuals and families and by providing seed funding grants to help find a cure for spinal cord injuries and diseases.
Contact: (414) 226-8396;

Brewers Community Foundation Sausage Run/Walk
Date: Saturday, July 28, 8:00 a.m. start
Location: The Sausage Haus, Miller Park Parking Lot, Milwaukee, WI
Description: 5K run or walk around and through Miller Park. Entry Includes: Commemorative T-shirt; one Voucher for a Terrace Reserved Ticket to a home game (redeemable for one of 8 game dates in 2012), complimentary bottle of Aquafina and Klement’s hot dog for participants; one beer following Run/Walk for participants 21 & older (must present valid ID); fan photos with the mascots.
Cause: Through the Brewers Community Foundation, the proceeds of the Run/Walk extend financial support to non-profits that provide quality programming in the areas of health, education, recreation and basic needs.

Milwaukee Liver Life Walk
When: Saturday, July 28
Where: Veterans Park, 1010 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., Milwaukee
Description: Join Kathy’s Krew for the second annual Milwaukee route of the American Liver Foundation’s Liver Life Walk. Whether you are able to walk with us or simply donate, your participation will have an impact on those living with liver disease and their families.
Cause: American Liver Foundation

Whole in One Golf Outing
Date: Friday, August 3, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: Midlane Golf Resort, 4601 W. Yorkhouse Road, Wadsworth, IL 60083
Cause: CORE/El Centro’s Thriving with Cancer Program
Contact: (414) 384-2673;

Arthritis Foundation’s Run/Walk to Milwaukee Irish Fest
Date: Saturday, August 18, 8:30 a.m. registration, 10 a.m. stretch, 10:30 a.m. start
Location: Henry Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr., Milwaukee
Description: 5K run or walk; children’s activities at the KidZone. Route along Milwaukee’s beautiful lakefront. 2,000 participants. Each participant will receive free admission for the day into Irish Fest, the world’s largest Irish festival. There is also a post-event celebration at 11:15 a.m.
Cause: Arthritis Foundation
Contact: (800) 333-1380 or (414) 329-4603 x214;

Vibha Dream Mile
Date: Sunday, August 19, 7 a.m. registration, 8 a.m. start
Location: Veterans Park, 1010 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., Milwaukee
Description: 5K run or walk; 10K run. The Dream Mile … “a few miles for a million dreams” is Vibha’s flagship fundraiser. In 2011, Dream Mile was recognized as “an endurance charity run” by The race is professionally timed. All registrants receive a free t-shirt (though quantities are limited), special discount coupons from Sports Authority and other local vendors, chair massages, refreshments, and free race photos. Children’s activities include a Kids Fun Run, face painting, henna tattoos, and nail painting.
Cause: Vibha, a volunteer-driven organization, works to ensure that every underprivileged child attains his or her right to education, health and opportunity. It has supported about 190 projects in India and the US to date.

Walk & Run for Wishes
Date: Saturday, August 25, 8:30 a.m. registration and 10 a.m. start
Location: North gate of the Henry Maier Festival Grounds
Description: 5K or 1-mile walk or run along Milwaukee’s lakefront. There is also a Kids’ Dash. Awards, food, and entertainment follow the event. Participants wearing the event t-shirt receive free admision to Mexican Fiesta from noon – 3 p.m.
Cause: Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin
Contact: (262) 781-4445;

Dylan’s 2 Mile Run/Walk for Autism to Indian Summer
When: Sunday, September 9
Where: Henry Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr., Milwaukee
Description: 2K run or walk (or volunteer!). Join over 2500 other people who come together for the cause. The Dylan’s Run course is at the Summerfest grounds on Milwaukee’s lakefront.
Cause: Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin
Contact: To volunteer, contact: (414) 744-3053;

Lombardi Ride to Daylight
Date: Friday, September 14 and Saturday, September 15
Location: House of Harley-Davidson, 6221 West Layton Avenue  Milwaukee, WI 53220; Harley-Davidson Museum, 400 W Canal Street, Milwaukee, WI 53201
Description: Charitable dinner at the House of Harley-Davidson on Friday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. After gathering at the Harley-Davidson Museum Saturday at 10 a.m., participants will enjoy a poker ride through southeastern Wisconsin.
Cause: Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation
Contact: (414) 649-7015;

Brigg’s & Al’s Run & Walk
When: Saturday, September 15
Where: Begins at 10th and Wells Streets. Ends at Henry Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr., Milwaukee
Description: 8K run, 3- or 5-mile walk. Draws between 13,000 and 16,000 participants each year and remains one of the largest run and walk fundraising events in the Midwest.
Cause: Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Contact: (414) 266-1520;

Joe’s Run, Walk & Roll
When: Saturday, September 22, 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: Hart Park, 7300 Chestnut St., Wauwatosa
Description: Non-competitive 5K run, walk or wheelchair roll; 1-2-or-3 mile fun run, walk or wheelchair roll ‘fun run.’ A family affair and community celebration, families, friends, teams, and individuals are invited to participate. Post-run reception is held at Hart Park with great food, beverages, raffles, and entertainment.
Cause: United Cerebral Palsy of Southeastern Wisconsin
Contact: (414) 329-4500;

Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon – (NOTE: Registration full as of April 15, 2012)
Date: Sunday, October 7, 7:30 a.m. (Kids’ Run is Saturday, October 6, 3:30 p.m.)
Location: Milwaukee’s lakefront
Description: The Lakefront Marathon is a USAT&F Certified Course  that starts at Grafton High School (about one mile west of I-43). This flat and scenic point-to-point course travels south through rural countryside, quiet Northshore neighborhoods and finishes along the shores of Lake Michigan north of the Milwaukee Art Museum at Veterans Park. The Lakefront Marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifying course.
Cause: While not a requirement, participants may choose to run for a charity of their choice. Individuals and teams running for charity can share information about their charity, and talk about why this is important to them, on the Marathon’s charity page.

Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis Milwaukee
Date: Sunday, November 4, 7 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Location: Milwaukee County Zoo, 10001 West Blue Mound Road  Milwaukee, WI 53226
Description: 5K run or walk. Jingle Bell Run/Walk is a fun and festive way to kick off your holidays. Wear a holiday-themed costume. Tie jingle bells to your shoelaces. Join thousands of runners and walkers across the nation to fight the nation’s most common cause of disability.
Cause: Arthritis Foundation

Milwaukee Santa’s 5K Run/Walk
Date: TBA
Location: McKinley Park, 1750 N Lincoln Memorial Dr., Milwaukee
Description: 5K run or walk with 100’s of Santas! All participants receive a Santa stocking hat and long-sleeve event shirt. Don’t stop too long at the on course candy stations, pucker up as you run beneath the mistletoe, enjoy the holiday music and warm of at the finish with hot cider and cookies. Route starts at McKinley Park and loops around Juneau Park before returning to the start/finish area.
Cause: Marine Toys for Tots Foundation Milwaukee Chapter
Contact: (414) 481-3861 x1070;

TCD’s editorial staff will continue to update this guide as more events are announced. If you have an event to add, email Managing Editor Dan Shafer ( and Editorial Intern Jennifer Reinke ( with details.

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