Winona State University was ready to roll with its Derek Bute All-In Military Challenge fundraiser not long ago. The fundraiser was a part of a major effort to establish a scholarship at the university in Bute’s name. Participants ranged from faculty and staff to students to the Bute family.
The fundraiser featured a military obstacle course with three different stations: ammo can press, pull-ups, and combat fitness test. The idea for the fundraiser was born shortly after Bute’s death.
“We wanted to find a way to turn the grief into something positive,” said Shellie Nelson, a professor in WSU’s health, exercise, and rehabilitative science department.
The fundraiser set an initial goal to raise $3,000. Long term supporters of the scholarship aim to raise $30,000 so a $1,000 scholarship can be given out annually.
“Derek was an inspiration, we hope that this will inspire people to help out in the community, serve the country, get educated,” said Michael Bute, Derek’s father. “Those were things he was about.”
Derek Bute died at the age of 25 when he was struck by a train in January. He was a student at Winona State University and an Army National Guard Medic. He also mentored special-needs youth as a part of a community human services agency program.
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