(9-20-21) This Saturday at the Grand Lake Half Marathon organizer Rod Carpenter tells why the event is happening this weekend. Carpenter is helping to raise money for his Eternal Tri Star Scholarship.

Steve Schmidt will be carrying a flag in honor of Detective Kelly Mitchell Richards who died in 1993. Kelly was on the Celina Police Department. When Steve hits the bridge by the Hotwater Hole, he will be met by 2 of Detective Richards grandkids, Connor & Willow Schwartz who will assist him carrying it to the finish line. Steve is carrying for me as I am injured. Steve should cross the finish line around 10:30-10:45am.


After there will be a flag folding ceremony by the Celina PD then 3 speakers. pastor Diane Mendleson will offer prayer, Celina Mayor Hazel will say a few words, and Celina Chief Tom Wale will give the keynote. This will all be done on the stage under the red cover. I am attaching some info that I am giving to Jonathan Williams who will MC as runners
cross the finish.

About the Flag bearer runners…

Steve Schmidt was a member of the Coldwater cross country and track running teams in the mid 1970s and has been running ever since. 

Steve resides in Coldwater with his wife Cindy.  Steve and Cindy serve on the Mercer Health 5K Challenge Series committee.  Steve is also the race director for the Lake Festival 5K and the Knights of Columbus 5K for Vocations. They have a son Andy,  daughter-in-law Nikki, along with two grandsons. 

Steve truly appreciates once again the opportunity to carry the American flag while running the Grand Lake Half Marathon to honor Detective Kelly Mitchell “Mitch” Richards and for the benefit of the Tri Star Eternal Scholarships which Rod & Barb Carpenter are raising money for. Rod was not able to run due to injury.  Steve is carrying the flag in conjunction with “Flags 4 Fallen” which has a Facebook page as typed.

Assisting in bringing the flag to the finish line is 2 of Detective Richards’ grandchildren, Connor and Willow Schwartz.

Connor Schwartz is 12 and loves to draw and is an awesome artist. He hopes to be an officer like his Pawpaw Mitch when he grows up.  Willow and Mya are 7 and both are balls of energy. Willow does competitive gymnastics at Flight Deck and absolutely loves it. Mya is our happy girl always. She can light up a room just by walking into it! Connor and Willow attend school at I.C. and Mya attends Holy Rosary in their A.B.L.E. program.

Detective Kelly Mitchell Richards was born November 27th, 1957 in Celina and passed on Sept 19th, 1993.  Kelly had been married to Patty for 10 years at the time of his death.  Together they had two children, Kellie and Ryan.  Mitch has 4 grandkids, Connor, Willow, Mya, and Maddi.

Kelly loved his work as an officer.  He loved it so much he put his job over his health.  He had solved a murder case and despite some health issues he chose to see the trial to the very end.  When his health got so bad he went to the hospital only to be sent back home.  He passed on thereafter due to a possible heart attack.  He not only had been dealing with his health issues but the great amount of stress that comes with the job of anyone in law enforcement.

Kelly loved his family deeply.  He also loved to hunt, fish, and woodworking.  He was also a pretty private individual.  His grandson Connor has a deer head that was mounted for him by Mitch.

Patty since has remarried to Jerry Niekamp.  They continue to live in this great county.