A 30-mile charity walk from the University of Notre Dame’s campus in northern Indiana to a beach in southwest Michigan raised nearly $3,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project.
The goal had been $1,000.
“It’s humbling and overwhelming,” said Brian Lohr, director of University of Notre Dame MBA Admissions, who organized the June 9 event. “The spirit of people wanting to help those who have had tremendous setbacks in their life just came through.”
Lohr and four others set off from campus at 3 in the morning to avoid the worst heat on a day when temperatures crested 90 degrees. Around 1:30 p.m. they arrived at Weko Beach in Bridgman, Mich., where spouses were waiting with a picnic lunch followed by a ride home.
“We can honestly say now that the University of Notre Dame campus is within walking distance of the beaches of Michigan,” joked Lohr. He said the three military veterans in the group told him they had never endured a march of that length even in the service.
Lohr, who grew up in a military family, and Senior Associate Director of MBA Admissions Andrew Sama, an Air Force veteran, completed the walk along with Sean McCaffery, U.S. Army major and one-year MBA student (’13); and Kurt Wilson, U.S. Army staff sergeant and second-year student (’13). A friend of Lohr’s, Tim Shea, managing partner of Architectural Products Magazine, based in Chicago, went along as well. Photos have been posted at the Notre Dame MBA Facebook page.
Sama came up with the title for the event, “Irish Lead the Way,” a reference to Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish athletics teams and the U.S. Army Ranger motto “Rangers Lead the Way.” McCaffery and Wilson are both Rangers.
Wounded Warrior is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising public awareness of the wounds – sometimes visible, sometimes not – that soldiers suffer as a result of military conflict. The project seeks to rehabilitate wounded service members, assisting them with physical, emotional and financial recovery and with the transition back to civilian life. It provides a long list of support services, including family retreats, employment assistance and peer mentoring.
More than 50 individuals and one couple contributed amounts ranging from $5 to $325 at a special donation page at the Wounded Warrior Project website. The page, which lists donors and gift amounts, continues to accept contributions.