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Running for veterans; Southland senior uses mentor program to raise money for a cause

Austin Daily Herald - 4/30/2018

April 30--Morgan Brown is a busy girl.

The Southland High School senior is involved in numerous activities -- both in and out of school -- that keep her running almost daily.

But there is still more she is willing to do.

As part of a mentorship project at the school, Brown is in the midst of organizing an obstacle course, warrior dash-style run, Run2Repair, to raise money to help veterans: Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch in Stewartville and Mower County Veterans Services.

The idea came from a subject close to Brown who has an uncle, Mark Mulhern, who served in the military.

"In choosing on I knew it would be a lot of work," Brown said. "[But] it means a lot to help veterans in our community who have done so much and my uncle Mark who's gone through so much."

Putting a run like this together is no easy task and the goal of $10,000 is not an easy mark. So Brown turned to a couple in Austin who has been through this process more than a few times -- Kelly and Daniel Nesvold.

The Nesvolds have put together a pair of runs that have drawn attention to the effort to stop human trafficking and to help out the less fortunate, so it seemed natural that they would come aboard to help Brown toward her goal.

"When a young person like her calls you and asks to 'mentor me, I want to do this,' it's hard to turn her down," Kelly Nesvold said. "As people who strive to make the world a better place, you see someone strive to do the same thing, you want to build them up."

The pairing made sense for Brown, especially with her own schedule.

"They're really great," Brown said. "They've helped a lot and they are so knowledgeable about these things."

The three, along with another helper, Kirk Kuchera, have met regularly to plan the event and how it should be approached.

"We meet regularly, sit down and plan," Nesvold said. "What we told her is we knew it was big and more than one person could handle. We talked through what should happen as a group, how it should go and let her do as much as she possibly can handle."

"It's been cumbersome," Brown admitted. "I'm busy with other activities and time management has been tough."

But she has continued with help from the Nesvolds, pushed along by a guiding and familiar goal.

"I just wanted to do something for my uncle Mark," she said.

And there has been plenty of evidence that she is going to have a successful run. Of the $10,000 goal, she has raised $7,000 before the May 19 event, which is also Armed Forces Day as well as when the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall will be at the Mower County Fairgrounds.

"See what I did there?" Brown said, with a playful smile. It's that same good-natured attitude that's pushing Brown to achieve her goal.

The event will start at 10 a.m. with the presentation of colors and a short speech by Brown herself, followed by taps, played by Southland students Lilly Riddles and Kallie Kiefer. Run times will start at 10:15 a.m. and will continue in 15 minute increments of 25 runners per group.

Cost to run is $45 and will rise to $50 by the day of the race.

The race itself will consist of 10 obstacles and while warrior dash-style races are known to test strength and endurance, Brown's race won't be so serious.

"You don't have to run through it," she said. "It's more of a fun run."

The first 100 people to arrive at the event on that day will receive Spam swag bags filled with a variety of items.

All the work going toward such a good cause and spearheaded by high school senior, has left an impression on the Nesvolds.

"She's doing an amazing job," Nesvold said. "I'm excited to see how the event turns out."

For more information visit https://insanity4humanity.regfox.com/run2repair or email Brown at morgan.kbrown18@gmail.com

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(c)2018 the Austin Daily Herald (Austin, Minn.)

Visit the Austin Daily Herald (Austin, Minn.) at www.austindailyherald.com

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