Based in a state that often focuses on drinking as part
of its social atmosphere, University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point students
gathered together on campus for a relay run that rose funds for alcohol
The 33rd annual Steiner Hall Alcohol Awareness Fund
Run, also known as SHAAFR, helped raise $1,300 and awareness about alcohol and
its effects. Collectively, students ran 120 miles around the Stevens Point area
Friday, April 12 to Saturday, April 13.
“The fact that SHAAFR is in its 33rd year and is a
tradition at a school that already doesn’t have many traditions shows how
special this event is to the UWSP campus,” said Steiner Hall Director, Tim
Originally organized in 1981 by former athletic
director and Steiner Hall Director Frank O’Brien, SHAAFR took its first strides
from the steps of the capital building in Madison and continued to run in relay
fashion to Stevens Point.
Today, due to the overall feasibility and cost, the
120-mile relay run is held solely in the surrounding area. This was Schmidt’s
sixth year organizing the event and he believes that each year the run is even
more special and beneficial to the community and campus.
“I think that this is such a positive experience in a
time where there is so much negativity in the world,” Schmidt said. “The
community doesn’t hesitate to donate if they know the money is going to a good
Each year the planning committee seeks donations and
decides where all the money. For this year’s run, all proceeds were donated to
the Portage County Coalition for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention. In the
past, money has been donated to the Safe Ride Program, the Tavern League,
Stevens Point Area Senior High and MORP, an organization which offers an
alcohol-free alternative post-prom in Portage County.
The organization and donations are only part of making
SHAAFR a success. Without the runners and volunteers, the event would never be
able to get its feet off the ground.
“The atmosphere within Steiner between running and just
hanging out is just pure excitement for both the runners and volunteers,”
Each volunteer and runner signed the commitment that
they would encourage and support a cause that has advocated for alcohol
awareness for the past 33 years, as well as connect with one another to work as
a team. The commitment was then put inside the baton that the runners passed
off every two miles.
“This was my third year running in SHAAFR. I love
running, and I love volunteering in the community, so that fact that running
could do that was just a win-win situation for me,” runner Chelsey Baeb said.
A representative of the Portage County Coalition for
Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Prevention, as well as the Portage County Sheriff,
shared their gratitude and experience in advocating awareness. They challenged
runners and volunteers to not give up and work together throughout the night.
“Alcohol awareness is something I think everyone,
especially in a college town, should be aware of,” runner Hannah Morgan said.
“It’s a really good thing to be a part of to get the word out there and make
sure people are being smart about it.”
Teamwork and hard work were key to such an extensive
run. Each pair of runners was expected to run six to eight miles through the night,
and the physical and mental toll that it puts on someone’s body is exhausting,
especially for those who were not runners or had a difficult time running.
“The last leg of each of our two miles, my partner and
I would grab and run with the baton together. I really think that it’s
important to finish strong and finish together,” Baeb said. “It sounds cliché,
but participating in something like SHAAFR really does reflect the importance
of teamwork, and if I’m not finishing with my partner, then I’m not working as
Overall, the night was filled with responses of
excitement and exhaustion. Participants met the last two runners and lined the
sidewalk to cheer the runners on their final stretch to Steiner Hall. Everyone
“The runners are proud to run for a cause, and the
volunteers are happy to help, giving their time for the same cause,” Schmidt
said. “I was impressed with this year’s dedication and participation, and we
look forward to doing it all over again next spring.”