A couple weeks ago Columbia VFW Post 6097 held a ceremonial donation acceptance on behalf of all veterans by the efforts of Columbia native Cole Schmidt.
Schmidt just started his senior year at Adair County High School, but he has been busy all summer preparing and executing the “Run for Veterans” 5K/10K event that was held near the end of May at the Jim Blair Center.
Schmidt graduated from the Rogers Scholars program in 2015 and in order to fully receive all of the benefits of being a scholar, Schmidt and his fellow scholars had to create unique service projects that benefit their respective communities.
“I’ve always had a strong connection to veterans and that’s the main reason I chose to work with the VFW,” says Schmidt. “My grandfather, Richard, and my good friend, Dakota Meyer, are both two veterans that I look up to and I wanted to do a project that connected to our veterans in some way.”
After deciding what he was going to do, Schmidt started contacting local news media outlets and he even got to talk on the radio about his project.
“We had so much support and we had more than 50 people come out to participate,” says Schmidt. “I was relieved to complete the event without any major problems.”
The “Run for Veterans” 5K/10K raised $1771 to go towards starting a scholarship at Lindsey Wilson College, or Schmidt says that the funds may be used to help with the new ROTC program at ACHS.
After completing his duties for the Rogers Scholar program, Schmidt will have numerous scholarship opportunities once he graduates as well as the experience and knowledge he has gained from creating, organizing, promoting and executing a stellar community event for a great cause.
Cole is the 17-year-old son of Chris and Rebecca Schmidt of Columbia.
By Adam Capps