About 100 participants showed up to walk, bike or roller blade the Glacial Drumlin Trail for the 25th annual Bike & Hike: Supporting Moms, Dads and Babies to raise funds for The Evangelical Child & Family Agency, despite the sketchy weather. There was a chill and rain drops in the air, but people showed up to support the New Berlin agency nonetheless at Bethesda Park in Waukesha.
The winner of the T-shirt design contest, Rebecca Bogdanowich, was in attendance as well as one of the runner ups, Kristi Lasch, whose design was featured on a cake. Another runner up, Kyle Re, had his design featured on a cake as well.
Bogdanowich, 19, is a Graphic Design major at WCTC. A true family event, Bogdanowich’s mother, Cathy, and father, Mike, were also in attendance. Rebecca received a $25 gift certificate of her choice. She chose Marshall’s.
Cathy Bogdanowich has been coming to the Bike & Hike for more than 20 years. It started out with her church.
"It was a neat activity for families and the church to do," she said. "We were supporting a neat organization and it was just fun to get the whole family out there.”
Cathy Bogdanowich said there was one year that it was pouring and three of them walked under the same umbrella. Mike Bogdanowich was performing crossing guard duties on the streets to provide extra safety measures for the participants.
A former roommate of Cathy Bogdanowich, Nancy Farrell, was also at the event with her entire family.
“I really love their vision of what they’re doing to help people in crisis pregnancies," Farrell said. "It was something I wanted to be involved in.
The agency has been in existence for 61 years, and they do not take government funds. This allows them to be more personable with their clients. Because of the desire and benefit of this closeness, they put on this fundraising event each year.
Farrell wasn’t sure if she’s been participating all 25 years or 24, but it’s been practically if not the entire time they’ve had the event. She and her husband Brian have also been helping to organize the event since she was pregnant with their oldest child, who is now 16.
He was born about a month before that event and was brought in a “little port-a-crib.” Farrell said that all of her three children, “have been participating since [I] was either pregnant with them or in a stroller, now we bike, but for a few years we did the stroller thing because we couldn’t find bike helmets small enough.”
She said the event used to be more of a come and go kind of thing where people would do the trail during the day and then eat and leave. Now, they have more of a celebration where they can actually get to know each other as well, as they also have people that come in from out of state.
Design runner up, Kristi Lasch, was directed to ECFA by her mom when she had her own unplanned pregnancy.
“I had a really awesome counselor when I was pregnant through ECFA," Lasch said. "They offered free counseling services to try and decide what was the best plan of action. My counselor is really encouraging.”
The help the agency brought her is why she wanted to give back because, “I think what they do is really awesome," Lasch said.
"A lot of people have unplanned things in their life and this is one of those things that helps people with those types of decisions,” Lasch said.
Lasch sent her design in on a whim after seeing the call for T-shirt designs in the ECFA newsletter.
In addition to the games that were set up, all under the shelter, a neighbor of the Farrell’s, Molly Llanas, was also doing face painting. The designs that were requested included her first kangaroo, koala and white tiger. The Farrell’s asked her to come face paint after learning she does it for some of her church events as well.
She said of face painting, “usually that’s all I do wherever I go,” but after seeing the kids’ restlessness, she started forming some games as well. They are usually spread out over the lawn next to the shelter, but this year because of the rain, they had to be inside.
K Love 105.3 radio station provided music as well as drew prizes for the raffle. Lunch was provided by the who owns six of the Cousins Subs in the area. The attendees were definitely a caring group, making sure everyone was fed and warm despite the weather.
Linda Oberbrunner, WI District Director of ECFA, and her husband Mike were also in attendance. Mike Oberbrunner said, “you should do an article on how husbands get roped into this stuff. Just kidding, I enjoy it.”