Thank you Week 12 Sponsors! :)

Week 12: March 21-27th

Total Sponsorship Amount: $75

Total amount donated by the sponsors:   $275

Current Fundraising Total:  $11,588

Happy Easter week!  Hopefully this week will be better than last week.  I hardly got to run at all this past week because first I was so busy that by the time the day was done I had no energy left and then I came down the the flu really bad Thursday morning.  Since then I have been completely wiped out.  Setback after setback. That is all 2016 feels like to me so far.  But I just keep trying to tell myself, it is the fundraising that is important, and that part has gone so well thanks to all the awesome people who have donated!  Thank you!  And if you have not yet, it is not too late!  Fundraising continues all the way through summer!! 🙂  Have a good first week of SPRING everyone!

Now on to our sponsors!!

Sponsor #1:  Ken and Amy Brengel

Ken and Amy are a husband and wife that I have trained at the gym since I started there over 3 years ago now.  Ken I train twice a week, and Amy trains off and on when her busy schedule allows.  She is always taking on a new project or on the go, so I am just here when she needs me to be. 🙂  They gave last year for my run, at least once, maybe even twice.  I can’t remember anymore since there have been so many awesome people who have given to this cause since I started.  I really enjoy my time with Ken each week.  We train twice a week, first thing in the morning on both Wednesday and Friday’s.  Ken owns his own painting business and they also own rental property and other property which Amy manages.  They are currently working on an old building on Prospect that they own to fix it up and open it as a venue for events.

In their free time Ken and Amy love to play tennis, paddleball, go on bike rides and go skiing.  They take several trips a year, one to colorado to ski and ususally another trip whre they can go biking.  They have 5 boys, all grown up, several married and one with two kids.  The grand babies live in Madison, so Ken and Amy get out there at least once a month or so to visit.  Thank you so much Ken and Amy for you generous donation once again.  They gave $200!!! Thank you so much for the support!!

Sponsor #2: Colleen Gunther

Colleen is another returning sponsor from last year.  Last year she sponsored my highest mileage week of 95 total miles. 🙂  I train her once or twice a week, depending on her schedule, and have been for the past three years.  Colleen has been very supportive since I started this journey, coming to several charity yoga classes (and bringing friends!), sponsoring two higher donation weeks, and always asking me how I am doing with training and fundraising.  Colleen has two boys (pictured below, also her husband is pictured), and a cute little dog who I got to meet quick this last winter when I stopped by to get some new Ugg Boots that she gave me.  (Which I am forever grateful for because I would not have made it through winter without toe frostbite without them!! Thank you sooo much!  They are so warm and I love them!)  Colleen works several days a week at Northwestern Mutual (contracted by Manpower, I hope I got that right!), and spends her other days running the boys around and making sure the house runs smoothly.    Thank you so much for helping me reach my goal once again Colleen!  I enjoy our time chatting together at the gym.  Have a fun spring break vacation coming up!! 🙂



Thank you again to Ken, Amy and Colleen for donating again this year and helping me crush my goal for the second year in a row!!  🙂

Want to be featured as a sponsor of the week!? I am still looking for more!  Let me know if you would like to help!  Or just want to make a donation?   Please use my fundraising website or email me at:!  Thanks! 🙂

Donate here by copying and pasting the following link!

Also, feel free to visit the MS Run the US homepage!

Have a great week everyone! HAPPY SPRING!!!

Run happy,

Nikki 🙂


Week 11’s Amazing Sponsors!

Week 11: March 14-20th

Total Sponsorship Amount: $50

Total amount donated by the sponsors:   $100

Current Fundraising Total:  $11,500+

What a gorgeous week! I am lucky that this is the week I could start running a little bit! And I am so excited to announce that the cortisone shot I got a week and a half ago definitely helped relieve some of my pain! I am slowly easing back into my runs and taking fewer walk breaks already!  I am up to almost 5 miles with only a little discomfort!  Before it was painful after a couple miles, but more painful in the hours after I would run.  I get my next shot Tuesday the 22nd.  Which should be good timing with Boston only 5 weeks away!  I am also done with my last fundraiser, which was Karma.  It brought in another $300.  Thank you so much to everyone who attended and gave big tips for MS!  And of course, thank you sooo much to Danny Neelon who worked the event and gave ALL his hard earned tips to charity!!  So generous!

Hope you are enjoying the good weather!  Hopefully it continues into this next week!  Now it is time to present this years sponsors!  Two of our sponsors are returners from last year- Kasey and Rebecca- and Robin is new this year!  Thank you to all three of these awesome people!  🙂

Sponsor #1: Rebecca and Kasey Augustine

Rebecca and Kasey are twin sisters who I met at Anytime Fitness.  I met them within the first couple months when I started working there and they were members who we (the staff at the time, which are all gone except for me!) always chatted with every time they came in to work out.  Rebecca I got to know best because she has trained with me off and on over the past 3 years.  Kasey trained with Max, but she was good about coming into the gym so I saw her quite often.  Both of them were also regulars in my yoga class back when we first started offering it in the gym a couple years ago.   They also took several of my charity yoga classes in 2014 and 2015 when I did it as a fundraiser.   These two have been very supportive over the past year and a half with my fundraising and they were very happy to be sponsors again for year two!

Since the last time they were sponsors, (which as exactly a year ago this week! They choose this week to sponsor because it is their birthday week.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY ladies!!)  Kasey has moved out of the area, so I only get to “see” her through Facebook.  She is now living in Brooklyn and working at an ISP startup in Manhattan as a customer experience associates.  She says New York has been a huge change from Milwaukee but she is really loving exploring the city.

Rebecca has also changed jobs in the last year or so.  She is also dating someone who lives in Nashville so she has been having fun going there every couple months to visit him!  She has told me about her trips and says it is a very fun place.  I have not yet been there, but it is one of those places I hope to visit someday!   Thank you again ladies for your support and generosity both this year and last year!  Thanks to you and other awesome friends of mine, I have crushed my goal both years!  It feels so good to make a difference in the lives of those living with MS!  Once again, hope you have a GREAT birthday week!

rebecca and k

Sponsor #2: Robin Dorman

Robin is a new sponsor this year, but not a new supporter!  Last year she bought my MS segment shirt for herself and her whole family (husband and two daughters) to show her support!  The cost of the shirt included the shirt itself and a $10 donation each shirt!  This year she agreed to try a different way to support MS Run the US and my segment, by being one of my weekly sponsors!  I have been training Robin for a year and a half now (Wow! Time flies!) because she was one of Jen’s clients who got switched to my schedule when Jen had her baby and became a stay at home mom.   I train Robin twice a week, so I get the pleasure of seeing her for an hour each week and talking to her about work and life.   One of my favorite things to chat with her about this fall was the New York Marathon as I was preparing for it, because her husband has done it many years in the past because he used to be a big runner, and she always went along with him as a spectator all the years he ran it.  So she would tell me how great it was and how much I was going to love it.  She was right!   Robin always asks me how my training is going, especially this year when she knows how frustrated I have been with this injury!   She also came by AJ Bombers this past December to show her support after a work event she had going on that same evening.   Thank you so much for all the support you have shown me in this journey so far Robin, and for your donation this week!

Thank you SO MUCH to our sponsors for bringing the grand total up another $100 this week!! We are cruising right along, over $11,000 now!  I really think we will be able to beat the $12,250 from last year!  SO AWESOME!!! 🙂

Want to be featured as a sponsor of the week!? I am still looking for more!  Let me know if you would like to help!  Or just want to make a donation?   Please use my fundraising website or email me at:!  Thanks! 🙂

Donate here by copying and pasting the following link!

Also, feel free to visit the MS Run the US homepage!

Have a great week everyone! Almost SPRING!!

Run happy,

Nikki 🙂

A Shout Out to Week 10’s Wonderful Sponsors!

Week 8: March 7-13th

Total Sponsorship Amount: $80

Total amount donated by the sponsors:   $160

Current Fundraising Total:  $10,400+!  Cruising right along to beat last year! 🙂

Happy March!  This was the week that I got my cortisone shot and this is my final attempt to try to get this injury under control so I can start slowly adding training miles.  I feel like I have tried everything else, so this was something new I have heard good things about, so I really wanted to give it a try and hope for the best.  I get a second one March 22nd, so if I do not feel a ton of relief this time, they say by the second there is usually a bigger difference.  Besides the running update, there have also been a handful of new donations that have been made this past week or so.  Which has helped the total really climb over the past two weeks!  🙂  Thank you so much everyone!  I really feel like there may be a good chance that I will beat last year’s total of $12,200.  That is so awesome!

All of our sponsors this week are returners from last year.  I am so thankful to have so many people who helped me raise this money last year back to help again this year.  Thanks to so many awesome people, I met the $10,000 goal over a week earlier this year than last year!  And we have not even had Karma yet to add to that total!  Speaking of Karma, that is coming up this Thursday the 10th, I hope you can make it!  Remember the fundraiser is taking place in the basement and is open to the public.  There will be trivia like a normal Thursday night there!  Bring friends and show up anytime after 6.

Sponsor #1: Tom Schmidt and Lauren Kutsche

I met Tom and Lauren in 2014 a month or so after I started dating Bryan because Tom was his roommate at the time, and Lauren is Tom’s girlfriend.   Tom and Bryan have been friends since they were young, and went to all the same schools, grade school all the way through college at Valpo in Indiana.   Lauren lives and works on Illinois, and Tom and her started dating in college at Valpo.  I think the first time I met Tom, Lauren was in town for the weekend and we all met at the Public Market before we went to see a band play on one of the Milwaukee River boats.  I kind of knew who Tom was before meeting him because he was a client of my co-worker Jen.  I remember thinking it was ironic the connections.  So that is the fast version on how I know Tom and Lauren.  I suppose it is also very important to point out that I also became a roommate of Tom and Bryan’s for about 2 months when there was an apartment fire in my building and I suddenly had no where to live, so the guys took me and the cats in so we weren’t homeless.  I am sure it was not Tom’s ideal living situation, but I will never forget what they did for me.  And to be honest, I thought it went pretty well considering it was 3 humans and 3 cats living in a 2 bedroom apartment suddenly.  😉

Besides all that, Tom and Lauren have also been very supportive of my fundraising.  Tom has shown up to all of my big fundraisers, and Lauren has come into town for the ones she was able to, such as AJ Bombers this past December.  Tom has also never failed to check in with me before one of these big events and check if I needed any help setting up and offered to get there early to help.

When it comes to people like Tom, (and the Rynders, who are also sponsors this week) I loose track of how much that have done and given over the last year and a half since I started this adventure because they have continuously shown their support and given to MS Run the US.  When I decided to do year two, I was worried that people would not give again because they would feel like I was always asking for donations and they had already helped enough.  But it has been amazing to learn how wrong I was!  So many of my donors from last year have given even more!  Speaking of giving, Tom bid (and won!) on the biggest raffle item at AJ Bombers which was a boat cruise for this upcoming summer for him and 7 friends.  He got it for $500. WOW!  To put that into perspective, I would not be at my $10,000 total yet if he would not have made that bid and given that donation. I would still be just shy of it.  And more importantly, I am glad a friend of mine got it, because hopefully he will take me on the cruise when he goes. 😉  Just kidding.  (Well, about how important it is, I wasn’t kidding when I said I hope he picks Bryan and I to go. hehe)

Thanks again Tom and Lauren for your generosity and being the sponsor of the week for the second year!  You are making a big difference in the lives of those living with MS!


Sponsor #2: Jack and Sandy Rynders

Jack and Sandy are the parents of my boyfriend Bryan and they have been so amazing over the last year and a half.  They have given many, many donations, been sponsors both years, and come to all my big events (such as the 60 mile run-a-thon, Karma and AJ Bombers.)  When they came to my very first event, (the 60 miles, October of 2014) they had only met me a couple times because Bryan and I had only been dating for about 5 months at that point.  But that did not stop them from showing 100% support of what I was doing.  Bryan and I have been dating for 22 months, but Jack and Sandy pretty much accepted me into the family by 6 months in (not sure how Bryan felt about that, haha!) and they make me feel included in every way.  I enjoy spending holiday and birthday times with the whole family, and over the past year I have joined Bryan for Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, a baby shower for Bryan’s sister-in-law, and birthdays, including my own which they wanted to celebrate with me!  I have definitely never spent so much quality time with any other family outside of my own and in my mind they have already become my second family.  🙂

Some big updates on Jack and Sandy over the last year that I wanted to congratulate them on!  Bryan’s Dad Jack just retired from his job at WE Energies this past week!  His last day was February 29th.  He was with the company for 42 years!  What an accomplishment!   Sandy will be retiring herself in 2017.  The other big update is what will now fill Jack’s free time.  Sandy and Jack are building a new house out near Bryan’s sisters family, which is about 50 minutes from us.  This new house will be great for them because they will be near the grand kids. 🙂  I am very excited for them and this new project!  And I look forward to the new house, I know it will  be beautiful.

Thank you again Jack and Sandy for supporting me in this crazy adventure, especially back in 2014 when you barely knew me!  I don’t think anyone has ever shown me that much support when they had just met me once or twice. 😉  Your donations have helped me meet my goal two years in a row!  As much as I love everything about fundraising and supporting MS Run the US, I am excited for June 5th when my segment is completed and Bryan and I are headed back home and I can take a break.  Maybe someday I will return, but I know for sure I will be focusing my excitement on going to Hawaii in 2017 rather than somewhere to run for a week!!  Hehe.   Happy retirement Jack!!!  ❤


Thank you again to these four people for helping me meet my goal to raise $10,000 for my segment of MS Run the US!

Want to be featured as a sponsor of the week!? I am still looking for more!  Let me know if you would like to help!  Or just want to make a donation?   Please use my fundraising website or email me at:!  Thanks! 🙂

Donate here by copying and pasting the following link!

Also, feel free to visit the MS Run the US homepage!

Have a great week everyone!

Run happy,

Nikki 🙂