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Seven years ago, Tullahoma native Diana Murray gathered 25 friends and family to walk in memory of her mother, Kate Bratcher.

Named in her mother’s memory, the Kate Walk drew over 300 participants last year.

“In 2009, we gathered 25 friends and family to walk to honor my mother,” said Murray. “Each year the event has grown substantially and just last year we had nearly 325 participants. My family and I realize that this is not just to remember our mother, it’s to honor all of our loved ones who have battled and are battling cancer. Most participants know multiple people who are fighting this disease and walking in the Kate Walk is a way to show their friends and family they are supporting them along the way.”

This will be the seventh year for the Kate Walk. The Bratcher family began the event in memory of Kate Bratcher, who died in 2009 from breast cancer. Today, the event hosts over 300 participants. From left are walk founders Diana Murray, Jim Bratcher and Jimmy Bratcher at the 2014 race.

-Staff photos by Chris Barstad

Murray said a 1-mile walking option has been added to the event this year. The walk is free to participate in, with donations being collected for commemorative T-shirts that will be available the day of the event.

“The Seventh Annual Kate Walk will be similar to last year’s event.” Murray said. “Most participants run or walk the full 5K; however a 1-mile route is available as well. The start and finish lines are near the 41A Festival downtown. As always, participation is free. A limited number of long-sleeved and short-sleeved shirts will be available on the day of the event, but to guarantee your selection please visit our website and preorder these.”

She added that all proceeds from the sale of the shirts will go to the Multi-Country Cancer Support Network.

“The Multi-County Cancer support network provides financial and emotional assistance to many people in our community and I am glad the Kate Walk donations can help support this organization,” said Murray.

The Kate Walk will take place on Sept. 26 at the corner of NE Atlantic and Grundy streets near Sign-A-Rama in Tullahoma. Parking is available behind Sign-A-Rama in the First Baptist Church parking lot. For more information, visit


Incorporating fitness with fundraising

Bratcher, who died in 2009 of breast cancer, was an avid runner and according, to Murray, enjoyed an active lifestyle with her family.

“My mom, Kate, ran 3 miles every day after work,” she said. “At times she even ran while undergoing treatment for cancer and when she could not run anymore, she would walk. Keeping her heart

Incorporating fitness with fundraising is a great way to get fit while raising awareness for a cause. The Kate Walk is one of many events that will take place locally.

healthy was important. It made her feel good and it was just part of her daily routine. My family is sharing her passion for exercise through the Kate Walk; a free event for family and friends to gather and walk or run to honor a loved one.”

Charity walk and runs are a great way to get the whole family together for fitness while raising awareness for a cause.  Here are a few ways charity fitness can benefit you and your family:

  1. Be part of something bigger than yourself. By participating, you are joining hundreds and thousands of others who have the same goal of helping people — and that just feels good! Many participants would probably tell you that they wouldn’t have just signed up for a race on their own, but knowing they would be helping others motivated them to do so.
  2. Be part of a team. Anyone who played sports in high school or college will tell you that when their “career” ended, one of the biggest things they missed was being a part of a team. Participating in an event with a charity group puts you on a team of other runners, walkers and cyclists who have a united goal and purpose. You even get to wear the same shirts or jerseys in most cases. For those who have always longed to be on a team, whether for the first time of the 50th, this is a great opportunity.
  3. Building special relationships. Sharing in the experience and encouraging one another builds great bonds and friendships that last long after the event is over.
  4. Get the tools you need to accomplish your goal. You may have had a lifelong dream of completing a marathon, or even a triathlon, but there was one problem: You didn’t know how to train to get there. Some groups provide coaches who will give you weekly schedules so you know exactly what to do and when to do it. They also provide other tips for training and fundraising. Their goal is for you to succeed in your event and fundraising and to have a great overall experience. Sometimes there are even local groups with these teams that meet for weekly runs or walks.


Get walking

The Kate Walk is just one of many fitness events that are taking place in the next few months allowing locals to get fit while fundraising.

Bel-Aire Walk-a-thon

Bel-Aire Elementary School will host its eighth annual walk-a-thon fundraiser on Sept. 11.

According to event coordinators, unlike traditional school fundraisers, Bel-Aire only holds one fundraiser throughout the school year. Each year the students participate in walking and running laps on the Bel-Aire campus for pledges and donations. The walk-a-thon coincides with the anniversary of Sept. 11, giving the faculty, staff, students and volunteers the opportunity to honor those lost on 9/11, as well as to honor the emergency management personnel of the local community at the event’s opening ceremonies.

Students will be collecting pledges and donations through Sept. 24. Bel-Aire students win various incentives based on the amount of money they raise. Donations can be made online at or mailed to: Bel-Aire Elementary, 504 Stone Blvd., Tullahoma, TN 37388; please make checks payable to Bel Aire PTO. For more information, contact North at 636-9405 or

Walk to End Alzheimer’s

The annual walk will take place at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12 at the South Jackson Civic Center. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with a ceremony at 9 a.m. and the walk to begin at 9:30 a.m. The walk is free, but registration in required and can be done by logging onto www.

Heart Walk for American Heart Association

The annual walk will be held from 8 to 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 26 at Frazier McEwen Park. TE Connectivity has teamed up with the American Heart Association to increase heart health awareness in Coffee County. Bring your family and join in this worthwhile cause. The event is free and donations are appreciated.

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