Grant applications are now being accepted by Active Lifestyle Events, the Joplin nonprofit that puts on the annual Joplin Memorial Marathon, which draws thousands of runners each year to honor the 161 people killed in the 2011 tornado.
The applications are open through Sept. 30, and groups selected to receive grants will be announced in December. Active Lifestyle Events says the grants are intended to go toward initiatives or groups that support its mission of healthy living in Southwest Missouri.
Audie Dennis, the president of the organization, said this is the first time it will accept applications for and administer grants.
“We really wanted to expand our footprint in the area and be able to support other organizations that promote health and fitness in our community,” he said. “And we felt this was a good way to do that. We have a small board, and we can’t really put on a lot of these events ourselves, but we can certainly support those organizations that are doing that.”
The 2016 Memorial Run was the first time the event has included a full marathon.
In 2015, Active Lifestyle Events pledged $100,000 to build a new playground for children at the Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism, 2808 S. Picher Ave. The organization has also previously made donations to Rebuild Joplin, the United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas and Bright Futures.
The event started in 2003 as the Festival of the Four States, which later became Boomtown Days. Eventually, it was renamed the Boomtown Run and was held in conjunction with the festival. The event was dubbed the Joplin Memorial Run, and later officially as the Joplin Memorial Marathon, in remembrance of the victims of the 2011 storm.
The race has grown in popularity from the approximately 150 runners when it first started to thousands of runners annually.
To request an application, individuals can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 417-825-2710.