’Boot camp’ held to honor slain Columbia woman

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — More than 120 people attended a special weekend exercise boot camp held in honor of a slain Columbia woman and former boot camp instructor, who was shot to death last year along with her grandmother and two teenage daughters.

Karen Kahler, 44, and daughters Emily, 18, and Lauren, 16, were killed at the home of Kahler’s grandmother in Burlingame, Kan., where they were visiting for Thanksgiving last year. The grandmother, 89-year-old Dorothy Wight, also was shot, and she died three days later.

Kahler’s husband and the children’s’ father, 47-year-old Kraig Kahler, former director of the Columbia Water and Light Department, has been charged with their murders.

The STOmP Violence Boot Camp was held Saturday in Columbia to honor Karen Kahler, a former boot camp instructor at the Activity & Recreation Center, where the event was held.

The Columbia Daily-Tribune reported that the two-hour event featured cycling, aerobics and resistance and core training and raised money for True North, a local shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The money raised by the $12 entry fee, along with 10 percent of Thursday’s sales at a local restaurant went to help True North programs.

The boot camp was organized by a group that Kahler trained for the year before her death. Member Robin Nutall said the group still meets twice a week.

“This is a positive way to remember Karen,” Nutall said.

Nutall said the boot camp could become an annual event, and she would like to see it spread to other cities.

“I dream big,” she said.

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