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Girls on the Run of Greater Milwaukee Works Toward Sustainability

Posted 6/27/2015 | News

By Tina Jones, Executive Director, Girls on the Run of Greater Milwaukee

Let me start off by congratulating and thanking everyone for a wonderful Girls on the Run 5K a couple of weeks ago! Our “Be Your Own Superhero” run at the Bayshore Town Center was a huge success, with more than 600 participants, including 40 teams from 33 sites, 120 GOTR coaches, 1,200 5K participants and 135 volunteers. Thank you to GOTR participants, coaches, families, volunteers, our Board of Directors, committee members and staff that were a part of this inspirational, girl power event! 

Rapid growth to reach more girls

But there’s so much more than goes into GOTR than just race day! Here are a few GOTR facts by the numbers:

  • GOTR of Greater Milwaukee is set to serve 1,000 girls in 2015. This number is up from three years ago where we were serving fewer than 200 girls.
  • We will have more 65 Girls on the Run sites in 2015 and over 200 trained GOTR-trained coaches at these sites.
  • This year, we will provide more than 300 pairs of shoes to girls who need them, which translates into GOTR raising $9,000 for those shoes.
  • In 2015, we will have over 25 scholarship sites, which translates into fundraising more than $60,000 to offer this empowerment program to girls whose families do not have the means to pay for this program.  
  • We host two Girls on the Run 5K events each year where more than 2,500 GOTR participants and their running buddies, will run, walk or skip across the finish line with smiles on their faces and a feeling of accomplishment and pride that can never be taken away.  

So how do we make this all happen? In a few short words – an incredibly dedicated team, amazing volunteers and outstanding community support. 

Dedicated team behind the scenes

We currently have a modest office and storage area at Bayshore Town Center that is used for storage of all of our program materials such as our curriculum, program t-shirts, water bottles, chalk, jump ropes, poster boards, beach balls, tennis balls, markers, and so much more along with all the bins for storage. Along with program materials, we also have to inventory and store our GOTR merchandise and 5K equipment such as banners, flags, bins, tents, tables, signage, superpower capes and so much more.  

We have four staff members: Executive Director, Tina Jones; Two Program Coordinators, Kim Timms and Kristi Knoedler; and an Administrative Manager, Laurie Graham. We also have 10 board members and six committees consisting of more than 30 members that graciously volunteer for our Volunteer, 5K, Events, Marketing, Fund Development and SoleMates (our charity running program for GOTR) committees. 

Community partners make it possible

We also have many generous community partners that help provide monetary and in kind support to help keep our organization "running". From having InStep Physical Therapy and Running Centers provide low cost shoes along with ordering, inventorying and fitting our GOTR participants to our many corporate sponsors that help support our GOTR program sites. Along with sponsors like Boelter + Lincoln who does our design work and our marketing materials to Badgerland Striders who provides much needed 5K equipment and 5K support. We have Cafe 1505 and East Town Square who donates the space and much more for our annual fundraiser and Bayshore Town Center who donates space for our coach training and helps us to host our 5K events. Additional partners include: Northwestern Mutual, Wheaton Franciscan (Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospitals), Heartland Value Fund, Baird and Michael Best & Friedrich. Sponsors like Badger Mutual Insurance have supported our GOTR program at our 16th Street Community Center location for the past four years. 

Looking to help? You can!

It truly takes a village to help us keep this organization moving forward and we continue to strive for more community partnerships so that we can provide this program to more and more girls in the Greater Milwaukee area. With all of our AMAZING partners, we are still just keeping our head above water and we need more help. We strive to bring this program to more girls so that we can help them move forward in their lives.  Empowerment is a special type of gift and you can't just become empowered without HARD WORK and TRUE GRIT.

We are always looking for time, talent or treasure donations! 

To donate:

If you or your company is interested in corporate sponsorship, please email Tina Jones at [email protected].

To volunteer:

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