Scott, Nate’s father, issues a note of gratitude to the Wilmot community before the annual run (Earlene Frederick/The Report).

Scholarship Fund a blessing, beneficiary said

By Jason Arndt
Editor

Although it has been nearly four years since Nathan Walter died in a tragic accident, his memory continues to live within some members of the community, including a former Wilmot Union High School classmate.

The members of the community, estimated at more than 100, came back to Wilmot Union for the Nate Walter 5K run April 21.

Walter, who was just shy of his senior year, was struck and killed by a driver under the influence of heroin in June 2013.

In response, the community came to aid of the Walter family, consisting of parents Scott and Michelle along with sister Emily, who graduated from the school in 2016.

“It was hard to do just about anything at that time. We would not have made it through those months without the support of our community,” Scott states in an email. “Our church made meals and dropped them off. Several Boy Scouts from Nathan’s Troop mowed our lawn all summer, and Tracy Carlisle reached out to us from Wilmot to talk about how they could help.”

The Walters belong to Wilmot United Methodist Church and Nate was a member of a Boy Scout Troop in Genoa City.

The next fall, when Nathan was set to start his senior year, the community came together for the first annual Nate Walter 5K and donated the proceeds to the Ronald McDonald House in Milwaukee, where the family stayed while Nate was at Children’s Hospital in Wauwatosa.

That following year, the Walter family decided to continue the race, with proceeds going towards the Nate Walter Memorial Scholarship.

According to Michelle, the decision came after Tracy Carlisle encouraged them to start the scholarship fund to keep Nate’s memory alive.

“We really liked that idea, and our son was really involved in computers and sciences,” she said. “We really felt that giving a scholarship to someone involved in a STEM career would be something that he wanted.”

Since then, two graduates of the school received the scholarship, Abbey Severt in 2015 and Brett Muzzy last year.

Severt, who attended Friday’s Nate Walter 5K, recalled growing up with Nate in church and in school.

“I actually went to church with him, so I grew up with him as a child,” said Severt, who attends Carroll University in Waukesha, where she studies nursing. “I am blessed for the opportunity to receive it, I know it’s really important to me, because I was friends with him.”

The family hopes to see both the run and scholarship fund continue, according to Scott, who reported about $8,000 is in the account.

“We want to get it high enough so you can invest it, so the interest off of it can help continue the scholarship,” he said. “We want to make it self-sustaining.”

However, according to Michelle, as the years pass, the annual run becomes a challenge.

“Over the course of time, we have probably had a bit less participation, because the kids that he went to high school with have gone on graduated,” she said. “The kids that are in high school now didn’t know him unless they had older siblings.”

But, Severt said she will always have memories of him.

“I have known him for so long,” she said.

 
 

1 Comment

  1. Mary Walter says:

    Nate was such a caring kid; always ready to help others. I will always be there for the 5k because if the tables were turned, he would be the 1st in line to help out. The community lost a good one.

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