Trustee, Good Neighbor Festival
How long have you been a member of the Middleton Chamber?
I'd say probably about 15 years. Murphy Desmond SC was my employer and they were a member and I got involved after joining them.
What roles have you taken on during your membership?
I started out attending Ask the Expert meetings. Then I became involved with the planning of the topics and getting speakers. Eventually I became the chair of the committee overseeing the Ask the Expert meetings. My other involvement was becoming one of the Trustees for the Chamber on the Good Neighbor Festival Board of Trustees. I have been one of the Chamber trustees for over 10 years.
How long have you been involved with Good Neighbor Fest (GNF)?
This is my 16th year as a trustee for GNF. I started with representing the Boy Scouts and then moved to the Chamber when our boys were no longer Scouts. I have been involved with the Parade and Entertainment Committees as Chair and then as Good Neighbor Fest President and now Chair of the 5K Run/Walk.
Tell me a little about how the 5k race has grown over the years.
We are in our 12th year of having a 5K run/walk. Sarah Johnson of Harbor Athletic Club and I started the event. Initially it was just a fun event with no timing or fees. We started on the Conservancy trail behind the high school and ran down across Century Avenue and into the Pheasant Branch Conservancy and back. The first year we had 70 participants running in the rain. After our start we moved to Capital Brewery where we ran through downtown Middleton around the ponds and finished at Capital. When they tore up the street by Capital Brewery we moved to Fireman's Park where the Festival is located. We have used that site for the start and finish for the last 4 years. We now average about 400 participants but would like more.
What's the strangest thing you've encountered in putting on the race every year?
I'd say the biggest issue is the weather. From our first event where it rained the whole time to one year when Middleton had a lot of rain and the trail that we used around Tiedeman Pond was flooded and unusable which caused us to change the course. (The course) might not have been long enough so a lot people had their personal best times.
Where does the money raised from the 5k go?
The funds raised by the 5K go to defer the costs of the festival. These costs are paid by the member organizations so a piece of the money we contribute actually goes to each of the member organizations through reduced costs that they have to pay to be part of the festival.
How can people get involved in the race?
We can always use more participants. The current course is very nice in its use of the Pheasant Branch Corridor and flatter than our previous course. We can also use people's help on the morning of the event if they would like to provide assistance. For 2017 we would love to have more Corporate Sponsors and Teams.
We hope to increase the number of participants since the costs of running the festival continue to grow. On a personal note I hope to continue to travel and learn how to brew beer.