The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

December 6, 2012

‘4Miles’ Foundation hosting gala fundraiser

By Kim West

— It’s been nearly a year since the passing of Athens High School sophomore Miles Blackwell, but his memory still evokes strong emotions from those that knew him.

The 16-year-old Blackwell was a well-liked honor roll student and talented track runner for the Golden Eagles before being killed in a one-car accident on Alabama 99 on his way back to Athens on Dec. 10, 2011.

“He was such a bright star, and he had such a happy spirit,” said Shannon Cameron, who has worked with Blackwell’s father for nearly three years at the Limestone County Department of Human Resources. “When I first met him, he introduced himself, shook my hand and said, ‘How are you?’ and ‘Tell me about you.’ That just shows you what kind of person he was, the kind of person that took an interest in everyone.”

To honor his memory, his parents, Derrick and Rosalyn Blackwell, used Miles’ college education fund to form the 4Miles Kindness Foundation “to reach out to our community and embrace the spirit of our beloved son,” according to the foundation’s website.

The foundation raises money for scholarships to Athens High students, and also provides legal services and parenting classes to families in need. This year 13 students will be awarded scholarships at the first annual 4Miles Kindness Fundraiser Gala.

The gala will be held Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Roundhouse Depot at 320 Church Street in Huntsville. Tickets are $55 for individuals and $100 for couples. Corporate tables were sold for $1,000.

The black-tie gala is being sponsored by the Family Resource Center and the 4Miles Foundation. Organizers have sold nearly 250 tickets, according to Cameron. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. followed by dancing from 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

“There will be mingling, socializing and a scholarship presentation starting at 6 p.m.,” said Cameron, a Family Resource Center board member. “We’ll have the event speaker (Rosalyn Blackwell) and serve dinner, and then we’ll have a live band and dancing.”

For more information about the gala or foundation, call 256-714-2353 or visit