An appropriately named 5KK race will be held Saturday in honor of one of the late founders of a Leesburg-based business.
Kaeley “KK” Brady died unexpectedly last year from flu-related complications at just 23 years old. She co-founded Cowbell Kitchen with Cheryl “Cher” Strasser following her graduation from George Mason University. The duo expanded the business from Strasser’s initial food truck, to exhibiting at farmers markets throughout Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC, to a brick and mortar restaurant and commercial kitchen in downtown Leesburg in 2017.
The Love, KK Foundation was formed shortly following her death and will be the beneficiary of Saturday’s 5KK Fun Run at Algonkian Park in Sterling. Katie Printz, a longtime friend of Brady, is the main organizer for the event, which she said combines several of her late friend’s passions.
“KK was always a star athlete. She was an all star cross country runner, played Division 1 soccer in college. We were thinking of ways to involve both the community and local businesses which is her foundation’s mission and incorporate something that would represent her in a good way and kind of bring out all the people in her life. We thought an athletic event would be a good way to do this,” Printz said.
Proceeds from the race will go towards the primary goal of the Love, KK Foundation for 2020 — funding an internship program to pair young people with entrepreneurial aspirations with small businesses in need of help. It’s a goal mirrored after the foundation’s namesake and goes to the heart of the foundation’s mission to support small businesses and the entrepreneurial community.
“A lot of small businesses could use the extra help and interns but can’t afford it,” Printz said. “By sponsoring internship programs we can hire young interns, put them with businesses.
Not only does the small business get free help but young people get to experience what it’s like to run a small business. It’s a valuable learning experience.”
Saturday’s race begins at noon with a party following at 1 p.m. Online registration closes tonight at midnight, but walk-up registration will be available, Printz said. Anyone is welcome, whether participating in the race or not, to join the party at 1 p.m. to listen to live music and purchase food.
An Oct. 12 dinner in Waterford by DC-based Chef Nick Wiseman is planned as the second event to benefit the foundation, with details available on the Love, KK Foundation’s website soon, Printz said. For more information on the foundation and Saturday’s race, go to kkbrady.com.