THOMSON—The 25th Annual Min’s Mississippi Memorial Walk/Run will be held Saturday, Aug. 31, in Thomson.

The four-mile event starts at 8 a.m. on the west end of Main Street, past the Thomson causeway campground, on flat scenic country blacktop. Every mile will be marked accurately with a water table.

Pre-registration is available until Friday, Aug. 23, for $13. All late or race day registration fees will be $15. T-shirts will be guaranteed to all entrants made prior to Aug. 23. T-shirts may be available on race day for late entries as supplies last.

Race day registration time is from 7-7:45 a.m. Running classes include: eight years old and under, 9-12, 13-16, 17-20, 21-30, 31-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 200 pounds and over.

Friendly, furry canine friends are welcome. If your dog becomes mean or aggressive, you will be asked to leave.

Race registration forms and more information are available at local businesses,,

For more information about registration, donations or sponsorship, call Melinda Wilkinson at 815-275-7298.

Statement from Melinda Wilkinson’s family

This is the 25th year for the Min’s Mississippi Memorial Walk/Run and family and friends would like to have this year be a special reminder of why and what this event means to them. Melody Wilkinson, Min’s mother says, “Her memory lives on with all the donations that we give out, not just through the scholarships but also in the donations to families that have gone through similar situations.

Min would have been 39 years old this year, which in today’s world is still very young. Her life on this earth was tragically ended at the tender age of 14. This is a time when young people are trying to figure things out on their own, but still rely on their parents or other adults for support and guidance.

Any parent would have been blessed to have a daughter like Min. With her sweet loving temperament and silly unique personality, she made life feel beautiful and fun. She was both of these things to many people. Those people still see her smile, feel her hugs and hear her laughter. Such blessings have remained even though she has traveled on.

Another way she lives on is through the memorial scholarship that is funded by walk/run proceeds that help West Carroll seniors and college students pursue their dreams. Min had dreams of helping others when she began her career path, so it is only fitting that her memory and love of running continues to help others year after year. When asked how she thought Min would feel about the walk/run, Melody said that, “She would think it was great.”

So far, approximately 75 young people have received scholarships of $500 each. There is a potential for there to be more than three scholarships per year. It just depends on the scholarship submissions. To apply for a scholarship, students can check with the guidance counselor at the West Carroll High School

Aug. 31 is the date for this year’s race, it will be the 25th year. That seems like a big milestone, but we hope that it continues for many more. It is hard not to feel Min’s presence on those race days when we all gather together to remember her and her life. These days can hurt too. But they also bring family and friends together, encourage community and benefit future area student and families struggling with loss similar to those experienced through Min’s death.

We gather together to remember her love for so many, to be a part of achieving dreams, to show each other we are here for one another, to smile, laugh and hug as Min did and to support an effort that has brought blessings to so many people.

A new event will be added to the walk/run this year. Children of walking age through age six are welcome to be participants in their own walk/run. The course will be ¼ mile long. Line up will be at the walk/run official start line to the 1/8 mile mark and back. This event will begin at 7:15 a.m. and there is no entry fee.