A Gruffalo Walk for a cause

Event raises over $4,700 for area school supplies

Photo courtesy of Marshall Radio This year’s Gruffalo Walk fundraising challenge ended in a tie, so Aaron Ziemer and Troy Deutz took turns walking through Marshall wearing a Gruffalo costume. The event raised a total of more than $4,700 for United Way of Southwest Minnesota’s Stuff the Bus campaign.

MARSHALL — There was some fierce last-minute competition going on at this year’s Gruffalo Walk fundraiser, organizers said. Donations were coming in from supporters who wanted to see either Aaron Ziemer or Troy Deutz dress up as children’s book character The Gruffalo.

“It came down to counting the pennies in the boxes,” said Meg Louwagie, CEO of United Way of Southwest Minnesota.

And in the end, it was a tie. Donors raised $2,391.73 each for Deutz and Ziemer. On Wednesday afternoon, Deutz, of Edina Realty, and Ziemer, of Marshall Radio, walked down East College Drive and Main Street together. Along the way, they took turns wearing the Gruffalo costume. Ziemer and Deutz said they stopped near Liberty Park to trade the costume.

The Gruffalo Walk raised a total of $4,783.46 that will go toward United Way of Southwest Minnesota’s Stuff the Bus campaign for school supplies.

“I hate tying in anything,” Deutz said, but he said being able to raise money to help kids was an “awesome” experience. “I’m thankful for the community support.”

“The support has been great. I’m very thankful to those who donated,” Ziemer said. Ziemer said he also wanted to thank Lockwood Motors for making matching donations in the competition.

Louwagie said the donations are much-needed. Last year, Stuff the Bus saw a 48% increase in need and eligibility for school supplies. In 2023, Stuff the Bus was able to provide school supplies for 4,500 students at 23 area schools.


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