Reeder’s Ruck to raise money for scholarships
The third annual Reeder’s Ruck March will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 29, at Mathias Mitchell Public Square, downtown Stevens Point.
The Ruck March was created and named in honor of University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) student and Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) member Alexander Reeder. Reeder, a senior psychology major who lived in Wisconsin Rapids, died in a motorcycle accident in 2014.
Registration is $40; visit reedersruck.eventbrite.com.
“This is one of the first ruck marches to come to the Stevens Point area,” said ROTC member Cole Irish, who is promoting the event. “It’s a great event that commemorates Alex’s life. Seeing a community come together for a cause is an amazing experience to be a part of.”
The money raised for the Alexander H. Reeder Memorial Scholarship goes to an ROTC cadet who displays scholarship, athletics, leadership and support for others. Currently, the scholarship fund holds about $15,000 raised through donations and the previous two annual ruck marches, Irish said.
This year, organizers hope to raise about $3,500.
During the march, participants will wear a “ruck sack,” a backpack weighing at least 35 pounds, as they complete the course. Individual awards will be given to the top male and female finisher of the age 40 and under class, as well as the age 41 and older class.
An additional four-mile walking route will be provided for any participant who does not want to participate in the eight-mile event.
The march begins in the square and follows an eight-mile loop of the Green Circle Trail. It will head north to pick up the Green Circle Trail at the north end of town, come back along the Wisconsin River, over the Airborne Memorial Bridge on Clark Street, follow the Green Circle Trail south, back across the Wisconsin River over the HH Bridge, and then head north again back to the Square.
Roughly half of the march will be on pavement and half on a trail. The event is sponsored by the UWSP Ranger Club.
The march is open to contestants who will wear a “ruck sack,” a backpack weighing at least 35 pounds, as they complete the course. Individual awards will be given to the top male and female finisher of the age 40 and under class, as well as the age 41 and older class.
This year, organizers want to get more exposure for the event and hope to have more people attend as spectators. So this year, the National Guard will bring a rock climbing wall for participants and spectators/supporters – anyone, really, Irish said – to try out.
Reeder was a third-year Pointer cadet preparing to serve his country as a leader in the U.S. Army when he died. He joined the Pointer Battalion as a four-year scholarship winner and quickly rose to become the captain of the Pointers’ Ranger Challenge team. He distinguished himself with outstanding academic and physical achievement, but will always be most remembered for his friendship and selfless desire to help others, event organizers said.
Reeder epitomized what it meant to be a UWSP Pointer cadet and a leader, and the memorial ruck march is in honor of who he was and the legacy he left behind for others to follow, they said.
Scholarships are given under specific criteria to a cadet who exemplifies the commitment to excellence and dedication that Reeder showed.