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Successful 5k Walk/Run Builds Community Funds for Miami County

Beginning of the walk
1st Female Runner- Allysha Brown 25.32
1st Male Runner- Alex Kuepper 20.33

- More than sixty walkers and runners turned out for the First Annual J.U.G. Walk/Run during the Peru Circus City Festival on July 18th 2015.

Jessica Monnot, a sophomore at IU Kokomo, started the memorial event to give back to the community and celebrate the life of local physician James U. Guthrie, who devoted himself to the practice of General Surgery.

“I received the James U. and Betsy Guthrie Health Scholarship when I graduated from North Miami High School in 2014,” said Monnot. “I called the Community Foundation because the scholarship came through their organization. I wanted to know if they could point me in the right direction for showing my appreciation,” Monnot continued.

Jay Albright, Executive Director of the Northern Indiana Community Foundation took the call from Monnot. “It was a neat conversation. It’s not every day that one of our scholarship recipients wants to raise money for our foundation,” said Albright, who explained to Jessica that now there is a dollar for dollar match for Community Funds. Albright added, “I told her that if she would direct her fundraising efforts to Community Funds, she would make an even bigger impact in the community.”

The matching opportunity is due to an incentive from Lilly Endowment Inc., an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation that provides support to the network of community foundations in Indiana. Currently the Lilly Endowment is providing a $1 for $1, matching opportunity through GIFT VI, an initiative that will significantly increase Miami County Community Foundation’s grantmaking capability to local charitable organizations.

There has not been a walk/run event at the Peru Circus City Festival for a couple of years, and Monnot thought this might be the time to bring back the popular race, and raise money for the Community Foundation in memory of Dr. Guthrie. The effort got a boost from a number of sponsors including, First Farmers Bank & Trust, Schneider Electric Square D, Miami-Cass REMC, Dobbs Legal Group, LLC, Yesterday’s Elegance, Conner Sawmill, Joe McMillan with State Farm Insurance, and Monnot’s Residential Services.

Nearly $30,000, was raised through donations, sponsorships, and event fees, including the prospective Lilly Endowment grant dollars. The Guthrie Family Community Fund has been created at the Community Foundation with the race proceeds, and the fund will provide grant dollars to local charitable organizations in 2016.

“I would just like to thank everyone for their help in organizing the event,” said Jessica. “Without the support and guidance from all our volunteers, this race would not have been possible,” she continued, “I give thanks to the Community Foundation and all they do to better our community and for allowing me to work with them towards this common goal. I look forward to an even better race next year.”

1st Female Walker- Marianne Wilson 37.27
1st Male Walker- Stephen Wilson 36.47

The top finishers for the event:

  • 1st Male Runner- Alex Kuepper 20.33
  • 1st Female Runner- Allysha Brown 25.32
  • 1st Male Walker- Stephen Wilson 36.47
  • 1st Female Walker- Marianne Wilson 37.27