Wisconsin Life # 901: Great Strides

October 6, 2022


In this season premiere, Angela Fitzgerald visits LifeStriders in Waukesha, a non-profit offering equine therapy for kids and people with special needs. She talked with Co-Founder and CEO of LifeStriders, Veronica Sosa, to learn about the programs offered and the impact they have in the community. She talks with a mom whose son has had a positive transformation with his speech and language development since starting therapy. Angela also learns about the volunteers who keep the farm operating.

We then meet Jennifer Angus in Spring Green, who is an artist and professor at UW-Madison. Instead of using a brush or canvas to display her art, she incorporates items that are a little livelier. Angus uses dried and petrified insects to create Victorian-style immersive artistic environments. She’s used close to 20,000 insects of varying sizes and colors to create exhibitions across the United States and Canada. The exhibits focus on the environmental threats facing insects as well as their importance to our ecosystem.

For 50-years John Haupt, of Wauwatosa, has battled MS and his handcycle has helped him pave the way for others battling the disease. Downhill skiing, wakeboarding are a few ways Haupt gets exercise – but handcycling is his passion and it’s earned him the title of Milwaukee’s unofficial MS poster boy. Haupt earned that title because of what he does for MS fundraising. Each year for nearly a decade Haupt produces and stars in fundraising videos. He was also instrumental in bringing handcycle racing to Wisconsin’s Tour of America’s Dairyland Road Race. Haupt’s dedication is remarkable and handcycling for him is liberating and empowering.

Next, we head off to Lodi to join the The Lodi Radio Controlled Club. A group of volunteer model aircraft hobbyists dedicated to providing a quality, family-oriented environment for enjoying all aspects of flying radio-controlled aircraft. Don’t let these small planes fool you, once you get them off the ground, just about anything is possible! We meet Kevin Kopp, a hobbyist, whose own planes have reached speeds up to 120 to 130 mph.

Lastly, we step inside the world of “sneaker culture” as experienced in Madison to find out what makes someone a “sneakerhead.” Discovering the talent of a local collector and modern-day cobbler, we catch up with Ian Matthews, who has been restoring and customizing sneakers since high school. As word spread of his skills, Matthews opened a side business called Ian Restores. To date, he has worked on over 300 pairs of sneakers including a set of Air Jordan sneakers that needed a complete sole swap.


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