(WMBD) — Brownfest returns to Washington for its third year Saturday, Sept. 4.
The festival, which includes a 5K, bags tournament, live music, and– new this year– dueling pianos, is the main fundraiser for KB Strong.
KB Strong was founded in 2019 after beloved Washington Community High School coach, Kevin Brown, passed away from glioblastoma. The foundation raises awareness and money for glioblastoma research.
So far, according to KB Strong Boardmember and Coach Brown’s wife, Jodi Brown, the organization has donated about $80,000 to the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria, in a research fund under Kevin’s name.
They also give “warrior funds” to glioblastoma patients across Central Illinois.
Jodi Brown said there is a five-year goal to raise $150,000 for glioblastoma research.
She said her late husband was an intense coach and mentor to many, but she said he also had a fun side that loved to bring family and friends together to celebrate.
She said Brownfest honors the side of her husband that knew how to have a good time.
“He would not want us to be sitting here and sad. He would want us to get up and do something,” Jodi Brown said. “That’s what Brownfest is about. That’s one of our main annual fundraisers — not the only one, but one of our main ones, and it is a great day.”
Brownfest will be held at Five Points Washington and will run from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Jodi Brown said she wants the community to come out and have fun, but also raise awareness about the rare disease that took her husband.
“That’s really what Brownfest was created for, is to bring people together, and right now we are focusing on that celebration side,” she said. “You know, it’s not something we want to go and cry all day. We want to tell stories, and we want to get more and more people to join our fight against glioblastoma.”