Organizers are hoping to see 2,000 runners and to raise close to $75,000 as the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County hosts its annual Madison Shamrock Shuffle Saturday, March 11, in downtown Madison.
“I think that people really like this event because it just brings everyone from Madison together for a morning of fun festivities. People are able to get out and be active,” Genna Sticha, special events manager for the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, tells Madison365. “There are so many great activities going on — like a costume contest, the award ceremony, the University of Wisconsin Irish dancers — that are very fun for people to enjoy at the event as well …. even if you’re not a big runner.”
And it’s all for a great cause… raising money for the programs and facilities for the young people at the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County.
“We are excited that this great tradition continues so that we can keep raising funds that are so crucial to the continuation and expansion of our programs for youth in our community,” Michael Johnson, president & CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, tells Madison365. “Whether you are walking, running, or volunteering, know that you are helping BGCDC make futures brighter for youth through our Club and school-based programs that provide homework help, teach financial literacy, support high school and college graduation, and now careers in skilled trades.”
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County’s mission is to inspire and empower all young people, especially those who need us the most, to reach their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring adults.
The Madison Shamrock Shuffle has become one of the organization’s favorite events and a Madison staple over the years. The 2023 Madison Shamrock Shuffle will start on the 600 Block of State Street at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday, and proceed through the UW Campus, ending with a celebration back on State Street.
“It starts early in the morning with a 10k run and then a 5k run/walk. Pretty much everyone dresses up in green and people wear different festive costumes to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day,” Sticha says. “We will have St. Patrick there himself that will be there giving a St. Patrick’s Day blessing.”
Various restaurants and bars in downtown Madison have partnered with the Boys and Girls Club for the races and festivities. “After the race, there will be different drink and food deals at a variety of establishments downtown from participants’ race day packets,” Sticha says. “We have a runner award ceremony that takes place for the top male and female finishers in different age groups and they’ll receive a medal. We have Irish dancers from UW-Madison. So they’ll be doing a fun performance after the races and then we have a ‘Best-Dressed Shuffler’ contest. So the person that has the craziest, most creative, best St. Patrick’s Day green costume will receive a pot of gold.”
Since its inception, the Madison Shamrock Shuffle has raised over $430,000 for essential BGCDC programs and activities. Sticha says the organization hopes to raise about $75,000 at this Saturday’s event
“The funds raised at the Shamrock Shuffle will go towards supporting youth, two and a half years old to 24 years old, in our Boys and Girls Club of Dane County programming, which includes different programs such as our AVID/TOPS, college-ready, and then also our McKenzie Workforce Center, which we’ll be opening this summer, and that is skilled trades pathway for careers and life success for our youth,” she says.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County’s new McKenzie Regional Workforce Center in Fitchburg will provide training in skilled trades and career placement services for young people. At the heart of this center is the Skilled Trades Training Program ― a program designed to educate and support interested youth to pursue careers as plumbers, carpenters, HVAC technicians, electricians, and more.
Sticha says BGCDC is hoping for 2,000 racers at the event. She’s not worried about the cold weather forecasted on Saturday because many of the runners are especially hardy and are used to the Wisconsin weather.
“It’s probably going to be cold, but we are used to that. People come out no matter the weather, and they just bundle up and embrace the cold,” she says. “It should be a really fun and festive morning.”
There is still time to sign up to participate in the run/walk or to volunteer for the event. BGCDC needs over 100 volunteers to help make the race run smoothly. To do that, click here.
“You can sign up right until the morning of the event. So we’re also looking for volunteers as well. So you can sign up to volunteer up until Friday, March 10,” Sticha says.
The Shamrock Shuffle will take place rain or shine.