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Johnathan Erickson (left) with conductor Benjamin Nilles (middle) and Sarah Butler. Erickson and Butler won Mesabi Symphony Orchestra’s third annual concerto competition.1 / 7
Duluth musician Gaelynn Lea Tressler performs during an April 2016 event. FILE PHOTO / DULUTH NEWS TRIBUNE2 / 7
Eric Larson, manager of Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Sports and Recreation, received a check from Michael Rosenzweig of RBC Wealth Management representing the Lahti Family Foundation.3 / 7
Stephanie Raible, Positive Energy Outdoors4 / 7
Michael Smisek, Positive Energy Outdoors5 / 7
Susan Northey, Esko schools6 / 7
Lisa Smith, Proctor public schools7 / 7

DONATIONS

• Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Northland received a $5,000 gift from the Lahti Family Foundation in support of sports and recreation programs for youth with disabilities in the Twin Ports. The contribution ensures access to adaptive sports and recreation programs for about 100 youth participants.

GOOD PEOPLE

• Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa hosted a partner appreciation event to recognize their partners for their support and contribution in 2017. Partnerships include Allete Inc., Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, East Lake High School, Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation and Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District. Allete President Al Hodnik received a special recognition for providing Conservation Corps with warehouse space.

• The Bayfield Chamber and Visitor Bureau awarded What Goes 'Round/Bayfield Books with Business of the Year award, which recognizes an outstanding business that has contributed to the well-being of Bayfield. CORE Community Resources received the Nonprofit Organization Award, which recognizes a nonprofit organization or individual for efforts and actions in the Bayfield area.

COMMUNITY LEADERS

• Positive Energy Outdoors announced new board members Stephanie Raible and Michael Smisek. Raible is a instructor of cultural entrepreneurship at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Smisek is a Minnesota Duluth graduate and owner of DLH Clothing and Sek Design.

EDUCATION NOTES

• The Minnesota Society of Health and Physical Educators announed the following: Lisa Smith, physical education and adapted physical education teacher for grades 6-12 at Proctor public schools, was named Secondary Physical Education Teacher of the Year; and Susan Northey, health education teacher at Esko schools, was named Health Education Teacher of the Year.

LEARNING NOTES

• Zach Moore of Duluth was awarded the Founders Scholarship from Luther College of Decorah, Iowa.

I did it!

• School of the Minnesota Ballet announced the following:

Katie Carlson, a junior at Duluth East High School, received the Suzanne Kritzberg Scholarship for the 2017-18 school year. Carlson dances in the corps de ballet for productions such as "The Nutcracker." The annual scholarship is awarded to a student for hard work, passion for dance and academic strength.

Karlyn Nessa, a junior at Hermantown High School, received a Dare to Dream grant from the Ann Bancroft Foundation in Minneapolis for this school year. Nessa appeared as a Spanish dancer in the production of "The Nutcracker." The purpose of The Dare to Dream is to empower Minnesota girls to pursue a special interest or improve a skill.

• Gaelynn Lee Tressler received the 2017 Judd and Barbara Jacobson Award through Courage Kenny Foundation. The award honors the pursuit or achievement of a business entrepreneurial endeavor by a person with a disability.

Tressler, who has osteogenesis imperfecta or "brittle bones," has been a private fiddle instructor through her business, Gaelynn Lea Music, since 2013, and is also a motivational speaker on disability awareness issues. The award will enable Tressler to hire a publicist for the busiest five months in her upcoming 2018 tour schedule and the extra publicity will lead up to an important album release tour scheduled for September and October.

• Soprano Sarah Butler, a junior at Duluth East High School, and Johnathan Erickson, a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, were named winners of Mesabi Symphony Orchestra's third annual concerto competition. Butler performed three operatic arias and Erickson performed a marimba concertina.

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