“Walk a Mile” Raises Money for People with Disabilities

The event was put on by UDAC, which is an organization that helps and works with people with all types of disabilities.

DULUTH, Minn. – Community members, volunteers, UMD students and more joined together at the Malosky Stadium Saturday morning to walk a mile and raise money for UDAC, which works with and helps people with disabilities.

“We are raising money this year for accessible transportation which is wheelchair transportation with people with disabilities,” UDAC executive director Karen Herman said.

The money raised from the 11th annual Walk a Mile in Our Shoes event will also go towards the new UDAC building, which they’re hoping will be open within the next month. The goal for this year’s event was $35,000.

UDAC recently received a matching grant of up to $35,000, and those donors said that being at Saturday’s event and seeing all of the love on the track made them realize how much that donation truly means.

“To see the kids here today that are really going to improve because of the new facility, we’re really happy,” Nancy Bullyan said.

Over 350 people showed up to participate, including UMD student-athletes, Champ the Bulldog, the UMD band, and community members.

While this is the 11th year of Walk a Mile, this is the 5th year UMD has partnered with and hosted the event. Having the event there and all of the support from the school makes all of the difference.

“We’re grateful to UMD, we’re grateful to the athletes, we’re grateful to the community supporters that come together and all of the individuals that help us accomplish our mission of creating an accessible community for people with all abilities,” Herman said.

UDAC works with a range of disabilities, including cognitive, intellectual and physical, teaching the people new skills and helping them find work.

“He goes to UDAC to work, earn some money, he loves his money and it really gives him a chance to socialize with other people and it’s just been a great experience,” Joanne Steinke said of her son Joshua.

The work UDAC does gives these people the chance to live their most normal lives.

“They give me so many opportunities and their staff is really good at what they do,” UDAC participant Heath Maki said.

“They celebrate every day, accomplishments big and small and we’re just thrilled to be a part of their success,” Herman said.

To learn more about UDAC and the work they do, visit their website. 

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