Summerfest officials delivered a $67,000 check Thursday to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin, and closed the books on the steamy 2011 Rock ‘n Sole Run.
The charitable contribution represented a positive outcome for the half-marathon and 10K marred by stifling heat and a failure to deliver water to dozens of the more than 6,500 participants.
It was a rocky debut for the first race to utilize the Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge in decades, so much so that Summerfest offered partial refunds to participants.
Along with the donation to the Ronald McDonald House, the Summerfest team delivered news of a change in management for the races scheduled for June 23, 2012.
Vision Event Management, based in Indianapolis, Ind., will replace Team Sports Inc.
Tom Schuler, founder and director of Team Sports, based in Wauwatosa, apologized immediately for the water delivery failure, after more than 50 runners were treated for dehydration and 20 were transported to local hospitals.
“The Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole Run is committed to providing a first-class event that our participants expect and deserve,” said Don Smiley, President and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc., the non-profit that runs Summerfest.
“After significant evaluation of every aspect of the inaugural race and interviews with qualified race directors, we selected Vision Event Management to plan and execute the 2012 Rock ‘n Sole,” Smiley said. “Their proven track record of operating successful running events nationally, coupled with their focus on quality and passion for the sport, positioned them as the top organization to accomplish our goals.”
Vision Event directs more than a dozen races, including the Chicago Half-Marathon, the Madison Mini-Marathon, the Rite Aide Cleveland Marathon and the Indianapolis Marathon and Half-Marathon.
In another change, Summerfest officials moved the Rock ‘n Sole from the end of the 11-day festival to a preview slot, the Saturday that will officially kick off the week leading up to the 45th Anniversary of Summerfest. The fest opens June 27.
The check delivered to the Ronald McDonald house represents a share of the proceeds from the Rock ‘n Sole, which were split with Milwaukee World Festival Inc.
“The Ronald McDonald House is proud to be a partner of the Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole Run and appreciates the contribution it has provided and help in bringing attention to our mission of providing comfort for families that are facing very challenging circumstances,” said Lynda Kohler, President of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin, Inc.