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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Sept. 2, 2009

Second annual memorial 5K run/walk to benefit asthma awareness, education

five k

Increasing the awareness of asthma, generating funds to support asthma education for children and remembering a Northwest Missouri State University alumna are the goals of the upcoming Jennifer Shaw Suhr 5K Memorial Run/Walk in Maryville.

The event begins at 9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Raymond J. Courter College Park Pavilion, just west of Bearcat Stadium on the Northwest campus. The registration fee is $20 for adults and $10 for students and children. Each participant will receive a T-shirt, participation medal and complimentary brunch and will be eligible to participate in a raffle.

Participants may register the morning of the event, beginning at 8 a.m., or in advance by visiting or contacting Tim Shaw at 816.806.9840 or Amber Dougan at 816.809.6131. Registration forms also are available at the Maryville Community Center.

Proceeds from the Jennifer Shaw Suhr 5K Memorial Run/Walk will benefit Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. Jill Coulter, a family nurse practitioner at St. Francis Hospital and Health Services in Maryville and National Certified Asthma Educator, said St. Francis provides asthma education, assessments and screenings, but also works closely with Children's Mercy Hospital.

"It's not uncommon for St. Francis to refer children to Children's Mercy Hospital if specialty care is needed. St. Francis then provides ongoing care in collaboration with outreach facilities such as Children's Mercy," said Coulter, who also has asthma. "St. Francis Hospital is pleased to assist with this asthma run/walk because we support the belief that everyone should have the best care, services and resources available to them."

Members of Northwest's Phi Mu sorority are once again playing a significant role in organizing the event and will assist on race day. In addition, representatives from Children's Mercy Hospital, St. Francis and the Healthy Indoor Environments Coalition will be present to provide information about asthma.

Jennifer Shaw Suhr, who cherished being a mother and wife, led an active and healthy lifestyle. She enjoyed running, water skiing, playing softball and bicycling, was a member of Phi Mu sorority and graduated from Northwest in 1992. However, in December 2000 she died as a result of asthma, a disease she had battled her entire life. At the time of her death, she left behind a husband, Troy, also a Northwest graduate, and a 2-year-old son, Wyatt.

"By planning and participating in the upcoming event, those of us who knew Jennifer have the opportunity to reminisce about the special times we had with her, and that keeps her spirit alive," said Tim Shaw, Jennifer's brother and one of the event organizers. "At the same time, we realize not everyone taking part in the 5K knew Jennifer, so we hope to bring awareness and educate others on how deadly this disease can be."

Sponsors of the Jennifer Shaw Suhr 5K Memorial Run/Walk include St. Francis Hospital and Health Services, Phi Mu's Zeta Lambda Chapter, Healthy Indoor Environments Coalition, Burns & McDonnell, Superior Lexus North, Ramsey Motors, Tosa Medical, K & G Striping, 44 Creative and White, Grego & White.

Last year's inaugural event attracted 75 participants and raised more than $2,000, all of which was donated to Children's Mercy Hospital for asthma awareness and education initiatives.

For additional information, contact Tim Shaw at or 816.806.9840.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468