WAXAHACHIE — Friends and coworkers of Terri "Missy" Bevers are trying to make sure her passion for helping others lives on.
Camp Gladiator director Renee Jones is organizing the Salvation Army of Ellis County Downtown Dash for Nov. 5 on the Historic Downtown Waxahachie Square. The 5K run will begin at 8:45 a.m. and the fun run at 9 a.m. All proceeds from the race and community event afterward will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Waxahachie, which is an organization Bevers volunteered for, Jones said.
“We want to celebrate the work Missy did that many people don't know about,” Jones said. “We want to celebrate instead of what we have been going through for the last months.”
Bevers, a wife and mother of three, was murdered six months ago at Creekside Church of Christ while preparing to teach a Camp Gladiator class. Police are still investigating her death and say they have no suspects despite video surveillance of a suspect walking around inside the church building that morning before Bevers arrived.
“The run is in honor of Missy and her love for kids,” Jones said. “The run is a continuation of the work we had started before her tragic death.”
The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club in Waxahachie provides after-school programs that include homework assistance, arts and crafts, reading, a game room and sports for children 5 — 14 years old from 2 p.m. — 6 p.m, according to the organization's website.
Jones has been on the board for the Ellis County Salvation Army for about five years as the chair of community relations, she said, getting involved in community service is something that she encourages all her Camp Gladiator instructors to do.
“When Missy first came aboard Camp Gladiator, I was telling her about the community service I did and the Boys and Girls Club and the Salvation Army was one she really latched onto and said how can I get involved,” Jones remembered.
The pair often volunteered for the Salvation Army including being Kettle Bell ringers during the holidays, Jones said. In April, just days before her death, Bevers and other Camp Gladiator trainers organized a surprise night mud run for a church youth conference at the Salvation Army's Camp Hoblitzelle in Midlothian.
“We were invited to open the first day of the conference and the theme was strength and courage,” Jones said. “So we surprised them with this mud run. They were in dresses and sandals and totally unprepared, but the kids did it anyway.”
Money raised through the Dash will support the Boys and Girls Clubs operated by the Salvation Army, Jones said. Money can be used for camp scholarships, to stock the food pantry that provides snacks and dinner for children who attend, for music education, tutoring or many other programs the club offers students from several Ellis County cities.
In addition to the run, the event will include a live DJ, vendors and a chair massage, Jones noted. Those who register by Oct. 25 can also sign up to receive a #MissyStrong t-shirt.
Registration for the 5K is $30 for adults and $15 for children. The Fun Run is $20 for adults and $10 for children. Register online at https://secure.getmeregistered.com/get_information.php?event_id=125403 or through a link on the Camp Gladiator Waxahachie Facebook page until Nov. 3. Direct donations to the Salvation Army of Ellis County Boys and Girls Club can also be made through the registration page.
Jones said she is still looking for event volunteers, sponsors, vendors and local businesses to donate items for the race bags. Those wishing to help can contact her at 972-741-1271 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Action Fire Pro and the Waxahachie Autoplex have already signed on as top sponsors, she said, and Field to Meal will be donating items to the race.
– Contact Bethany Kurtz at 469-517-1450 or email email@example.com. Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BethanyKurtzMidloMirror or on Twitter @bethmidlomirror.