For the latest Children's Fund impact stories, visit

Children's Fund helps celebrate John Mayfield's life

Apr 13, 2018


Mayfield race

The life of a devoted philanthropist and Kiwanian was celebrated on March 24, 2018, with the running of the John E. Mayfield Memorial 5K Shootout.  


John E. Mayfield's passion was serving the children of the world and his local community. Ten years ago, John extended his impact by joining Kiwanis, becoming the founding president to charter the Kiwanis Club of Cheatham County and later becoming the Kiwanis Children’s Fund board president. 

This was the fifth year for the race, previously known as the Mid TN 5K Shootout, but the first since John's death in September at age 65. Cheatam County Kiwanis Club President Jeff Bennett said the club unanimously voted to keep John's legacy alive by naming the race after him.  

As an advocate for children, John’s vision was to create an event that would raise money to purchase books for the Cheatham County Imagination Library. The Imagination Library provides a free book each month to a child until their 5th birthday.  Since the race started in 2014, it has raised thousands of dollars to support the club’s work in serving the children of Cheatham County.  

The Kiwanis Children's Fund was a sponsor of the race and several members of the staff, including COO Ann Updegraff Spleth, traveled from Indianapolis to Ashland City, Tennessee to help memorialize John. The staff gained a true sense of what John meant to his community.  

"We couldn't be anywhere but here this weekend. John Mayfield set the stage for the future success of the Kiwanis Children's Fund and our impact in saving and serving the children of the world. We miss him terribly but are honored that he was our president," Updegraff Spleth said.  

Mayfield, John 2015Fellow Kiwanian and former club president, Martha Daniel Kirby, said the following about John: “He was dedicated to helping others and because of him his club has survived. He was the heart and soul of the club.”  

Many people at the race talked about John’s influence on their lives and their community.  

“John’s legacy was giving, and this race is a big part of that,” said former business partner and friend Jeff Matlock.  

More than 90 people braved the chilly weather to participate in the race, which raised more than $7,300. 

“John’s work will continue to impact our community for years to come,” Bennett said. “We are thankful for his legacy.”