Rock’n the Farm fundraiser set for Oct. 6

Event benefits aquatic center
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Rock’n the Farm is billed as a trail run over groomed woodland trails, through fields and across the Embarrass River.

This year’s 5/10K run and 5K walk, a fundraiser for the Darwin E. Smith Community Aquatic Center in Wittenberg, will be held Oct. 6 on the Gotrocks Farm, owned by Lois Smith, at W18177 State Highway 153, Wittenberg. The farm is described as a private estate with more than 700 acres of farmland, woodlands with a private lake and prairie — all resplendent with fall colors when the event is held.

“It’s fun for the whole family,” said Tarrie Beran, general manager of the Gotrocks property. “People bring strollers for the little kids and enjoy the trails.”

The event started in 2013 with a 5K and mini triathlon. In 2015, organizers added a 5/10K course. Since 2016, it’s been a fall 5/10K run and walk. It has drawn up to 195 preregistered participants in the past.

“Participant age ranges have been from 4 to 80,” said Denell Dahms, who helps Beran, her sister, with registrations and promotions. “We have attracted participants from all over, including Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois. Within the state, we have participants coming all the way from West Bend and Kenosha.”

“The money gets used to replace equipment in the weight room,” said John Rudeen, aquatic center director. “In the past, we’ve added equipment requested by patrons. But now we mainly need to replace machines, like treadmills or things with electronic or moving parts that wear out over time.”

Rudeen has been the aquatic director since the center, which includes an Olympic-size pool and well-stocked workout room, opened in 1999. Designed as a community facility, there is also a wading pool, mushroom feature, slide, warmer pool and hot tub.

“Rock’n the Farm is a great way to bring people to the area, and it definitely helps my budget for the community aquatic center” Rudeen said.

According to Rudeen, moms and kids are the primary pool users. The center features a pumpkin plunge in the fall, a visit from Santa in December and and an Easter egg hunt in the spring. Everyone can swim for free on the first day of summer.

For registration information, call 715-253-2255 or visit the group’s Facebook page. Participants who register by Sept. 23 will receive a T-shirt. Day-of registration runs from 8-9:30 a.m.

New this year, participants are encouraged to bring their bibs to either Tavern Front or Resch Lanes in Wittenberg for a free soda or beer.