The Blaine Whitworth Foundation raises money for the community of Warrensburg through a 5K run every year to award scholarships and donate to community projects.
Dianne Whitworth, foundation member, said the next 5K run will be full of things to do such as a pancake breakfast, a raffle, a country store, a silent auction and entertainment. The run will be April 6 in downtown Warrensburg.
Whitworth said the 5K run helps raise up to $30,000 for the Blaine Whitworth Foundation. She said they receive funds through the silent auction, raffle, country store, ticket sales and the sponsorship. She said they do one run per year with about 300-400 runners.
“We encourage anyone and everyone to come out to run or walk, or just come as a supporter to the participants and shop,” she said. “We are unique, as most 5K’s do not offer all of the things we do.”
The funds raised are for the “Go Big or Go Home” community service scholarships, scholarships to UCM entrepreneurship students and donations to the community.
“The foundation was established to honor the memory of our son Blaine Whitworth, who was murdered in Warrensburg Sept. 1, 2012. Our family had to establish a way to deal with our grief, and so we decided that establishing a foundation in his memory would be a good way to help other people,” she said. “He had a big heart and big dreams and his motto was ‘Making a difference in the community.’”
Whitworth said Blaine had owned businesses in downtown Warrensburg, such as Bodies and the former Molly’s.
“He was working hard to make downtown Warrensburg a safe environment,” she said. “He wanted it to be a safe but fun entertainment district.”
Whitworth said Blaine enjoyed working with UCM, members of Maine Street, local law enforcement and Whiteman Air Force Base to make downtown Warrensburg a safer place.
“He was kind of able to bring them (the other bar owners) together when they were working to make good decisions to make it safe but fun,” she said.
Whitworth said the foundation has three main goals when raising funds.
“We basically have three missions we focus on with the funds we raise, and those are helping aspiring entrepreneurs achieve their dream,” she said.
Whitworth said they give scholarships to one student a year with a focus in entrepreneurship at UCM for $1,000 and they established a speaker series for those students to listen to successful business owners.
The next speaker series is from 4-5:50 p.m.on April 17 in Ward Edwards and she said everyone is welcome to come. It is free and open to the public and the room number is to be announced.
The foundation also awards four community service scholarships to Greek Life members and four to members of student organizations for $250 per person.
“Our second mission is to promote youth sports, parks and recreation,” she said. “Our latest project in that area was donating toward the all-inclusive playground that was open last year at Cave Hollow. Blaine was very much involved in sports and intramurals and recreation and fitness.”
Whitworth said their third mission is to lend a hand to those less fortunate. She said one way they have accomplished that is by establishing an emergency fund through the UCM Military and Veterans Services.
“Last summer we paid for a student veteran in need,” she said. “We helped a single mother that was a student veteran.”
Tess Bauman, events marketing intern for the foundation, said she has learned a lot about the business world as an intern and has learned about what the foundation does for the community. “I like being part of something so much bigger than me and seeing that my work is making a difference in people’s lives. Overall, the foundation is all about helping the community improve all around.”
The 5k is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. April 6 in downtown Warrensburg. People can register as an individual for $30, run as a team of eight or as a relay team for $25. She said people can also register to volunteer. Registration begins April 6 at 7 a.m. at 106 W. Pine St.
For more information about the Blaine Whitworth Go Big or Go Home Foundation and the 5k run, go to www.BlaineWhitworthFoundation.com.