unmc ice rink

Skaters fill the ice rink during the ninth annual UNMC Skate-a-thon for Parkinson’s in 2016. This year’s event takes place Jan. 24 and Jan. 25 at the UNMC rink.

Dust off the old ice skates and bundle up.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center’s annual Skate-a-thon is this Friday and Saturday.

During the 24-hour event, skaters will raise money for Parkinson’s disease research.

Skaters can register individually, as a family or as a member of a Rock the Clock team. Teams must have a representative on the ice at all times during the event.

More than 500 skaters have participated in each of the last five skate-a-thons.

Skating starts at 2 p.m. Friday at the UNMC ice rink, just east of 42nd Street between Dewey Avenue and Emile Street. Skaters and spectators can keep warm in a heated tent, and drinks and snacks will be available. Emcees will help keep skaters moving to nonstop music.

Proceeds benefit Parkinson’s research at UNMC and Parkinson’s Nebraska, which helps those in Nebraska and surrounding areas who are affected by the disease. The nine previous events at UNMC have netted more than $210,000 combined.

Nearly 1 million Americans live with Parkinson’s disease, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation. Those with the disease often experience tremors, stiffness, slow movement and impaired balance or coordination.

Ted Wuebben and his wife, Colleen, started the Skate-a-thon in 2008. At age 52, Colleen was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. The couple flooded their backyard to create a rink for three years before moving the event to UNMC. Since Colleen’s death in 2013, the event has been held in her honor.

Skaters can register in advance or pay at the event. Anyone can make an online donation.

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