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5K in memory of late runner raises money for middle school teams

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MADISON, Wis. — This morning seemed like the perfect morning for a run. One local 5k event gave community members a chance to give back, just by putting one foot in front of the other.

The fourth annual “No Fear All Fun 5K Run” was hosted by Sherri and Joe Neill today at Lake Farm County Park in Madison, The Neills organized the event in memory of their 16-year-old son, Michael, who was a runner on the LaFollette High School cross country team before he died four years ago.

“He was a giver,” said Sherri Neil. “He always stopped to help people.”

Proceeds from the 5K benefit two local middle school cross country programs. The funds allow the teams to purchase t-shirts, hire coaches, and travel to different events.

“Our funding in the last three years has helped make it possible for at least Sennett and Whitehorse middle schools to have real running teams,” said Neill. “These kids, you see smiles on their faces when they cross the finish line for the first time.”

While the event has grown over the past few years, The Neills are hoping to see it continue to expand.

“We want it definitely to grow so we can cover more than just the two middle schools we donate to,” said Joe Neill.

Today’s event raised thousands of dollars for the two cross country programs, something Sherri O’Neill says her son would be proud of.

“I think Michael would be very happy,” said Neill. “We’re trying our best and everything’s about his memory.”

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