Faces for April 12, 2015
• More than 200 snowmobile riders and supporters turned out on Jan. 31 at Cirrus Aircraft in Hermantown for a banquet to celebrate the conclusion of the 16th annual Black Woods Blizzard Tour, a snowmobile ride for charity that takes place in Northeastern Minnesota. The Blizzard Tour raised a record-breaking $852,000 this year, with all money benefiting treatment and research to find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative neuromuscular disease. In all, the ride has raised $6.8 million for ALS treatment and research.
Minnesota Twins legends Kent Hrbek and Terry Steinbach, both of whom lost their fathers to ALS, were joined on the ride by former Twins manager, Ron Gardenhire, and current bench coach, Joe Vavra. Gardenhire was honored as this year's Wes Blakeslee Most Valuable Rider at the celebratory banquet.
• St. John the Evangelist School in Woodland received a $1 million gift from the estate of a generous benefactor. The money will be invested in the school's endowment program for the specific purpose of supporting the financial aid of students.
• On March 19, Students, staff and supporters St. John's School and St. Michael's Lakeside School, both in Duluth, St. Joseph's School in Grand Rapids and Marquette Catholic Schools in Virginia celebrated after learning they helped raised more than $1 million for Catholic education through the Catholic Schools raffle. The annual fundraiser is paid for entirely by Catholic United Financial, a fraternal life insurance company headquartered in St. Paul.
Since the event is paid for by Catholic United, the 87 participating Catholic schools in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota will keep 100 percent of the money raised.
• The Superior-Douglas County Visitors Bureau collected 405 winter clothing items for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's "Big Bundle Up" charity drive. The statewide total of donated items was nearly 17,000 items, nearly four times the number of items that were collected locally in last year's clothing drive. The visitors bureau invited residents to drop off new or gently used coats, sweaters, hats, mittens and other warm clothing items at the Superior-Douglas County Welcome Center Nov. 25 to Jan. 2.
In addition, more than 20 pairs of handmade fleece mittens from Zion Lutheran Church in Superior were donated to Harbor House Crisis Shelter in Superior.
• The University of Wisconsin-Superior Foundation's inaugural Superior Day of Giving event was held April 1. More than 190 alumni, parents, friends, faculty, staff and students donated a total of $93,890, with most gifts being received online. Gifts received supported 25 different UWS programs including student scholarships, faculty development, academic programs, athletics and the annual Superior Fund.
• Kick Butts Day was held March 16 at Lincoln Park Children and Families Collaborative in the old Lincoln Park Elementary School in Duluth. The theme was "Keep Tobacco Sacred" and activities included learning about the difference between commercial and sacred tobacco, pledging to be commercial tobacco-free and not a replacement customer for the tobacco industry and writing thank-you cards to elected officials for protecting the Freedom to Breathe Act, Minnesota's clean indoor air law.
Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco.
• Alexis Adu-Bobi of Duluth was crowned the 2015 Miss Minnesota on March 14 in St. Cloud. Adu-Bobi will compete with 50 other state winners for the title of Miss International 2015, which is scheduled for July 20-27 in Jacksonville, Fla.
Adu-Bobi's platform is "No More — Together We Can End Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault." She hopes that sharing the trauma of her own experience of domestic violence at the hands of her father will help others come forward to end the silence and violence.
• The Port of Duluth Kiwanis Club announced Jeremy O'Connor joined as a new member. A Duluth native, O'Connor graduated from Denfeld High School and University of Minnesota Duluth. He is a police officer for the city of Duluth.
• The Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition recently thanked Sen. David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm), chair of the Senate Environment and Economic Development committee, for his work on raising tourism funding during the 2013-14 legislative sessions. The coalition awarded Tomassoni with its 2015 Tourism Leadership Award during the Minnesota Tourism Conference held Feb. 3-4 in the RiverCentre in St. Paul.
• The American Cancer Society announced Elissa Hansen, Hanna Hughes and Carl Crawford, all of Duluth, were selected to its Minnesota Leadership Board. The three join other volunteer leaders in advancing the ACS's mission in Minnesota.
ACS's Minnesota Leadership Board is a volunteer leadership group that works to increase the success of its efforts to save more lives from cancer. Board members serve as ambassadors in their communities, building relationships with key corporate partners, health systems, advocacy leaders and other community stakeholders who can impact ACS's fundraising and mission goals.
Hansen is a managing partner at Steam Creative Consulting in Duluth and a member of the ACS's Cancer Action network.
Hughes is a student at the University of Minnesota Duluth and is pursuing a degree in psychology and communications. She is the president of UMD's Colleges Against Cancer chapter.
Crawford is the intercultural center coordinator at Lake Superior College in Duluth. He is active with ACS's Twin Ports Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event and has been a board member with Men as Peacemakers, African-American Men's Group of Duluth, Community Action Duluth and other organizations. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
• Erik Redix, an assistant professor in American Indian studies at University of Minnesota Duluth, was awarded a University of Minnesota McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, a two-year award designed to advance the careers of exceptional junior faculty.
Redix's research examines the creation of the Chippewa Flowage, a 23,000-acre body of water near Hayward. The flowage was created when the Winter Dam was built in 1923, despite the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe repeatedly voting against its creation. The dam's floodwaters wiped out the community of Bakweyawaa, its cemeteries, roads and wild rice beds, and directly resulted in decades of poverty for the Ojibwe.
Redix became a member of UMD's faculty after earning his doctorate in history in 2012 at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in Minneapolis. He teaches first-year Ojibwe language, Ojibwe culture and Native American history, and also hosts "Ojibwe Stories: Gaganoonididaa" on KUMD.
• The Labovitz School of Business and Economics at the University of Minnesota Duluth announced the following:
Steve Castleberry, professor of marketing, received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching for his contributions to the teaching and learning mission of UMD that are of extraordinary quality and reflect UMD's emphasis on high quality undergraduate and graduate education. He is being honored for his innovative pedagogy and course design, development of creative and critical thinking, student mentoring and a commitment to liberal education. Castleberry, who has been at LSBE for 23 years, will also have his name inscribed on a plaque in UMD's Campus Center.
Jill Klingner, associate professor of operations and health care management, received the Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award. Klingner, who has been at LSBE for nine years, demonstrated outstanding service to UMD through advising. In addition to her award, the economics department, of which Klingner is a part, received $500 to enhance its advising program.
Rajiv Vaidyanathan, professor of marketing, received the Outstanding Graduate Faculty Advisor Award. Vaidyanathan, who has been at LSBE for 22 years, demonstrated exemplary service to the school through advising and mentoring. In addition to his award, the master's program received $500 to enhance graduate student mentoring activities.
• Northern Michigan University in Marquette announced the following:
Theresa Novascone of Bessemer graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.
Elizabeth Simak of Hayward graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in economics.
Thomas Mott of Ironwood was awarded a master's degree in educational administration.
• University of Wisconsin-La Crosse announced Martina Mellang of Lutsen graduated with a master's degree in community health education.
• Lake Superior College in Duluth announced it will hold its spring open house from 3-6 p.m. Friday at the school, 2101 Trinity Road.
More than 60 booths will feature information and demonstrations about various college programs. Free chair massages, refreshments and door prizes are available throughout the event.
Information sessions are offered from 4-6 p.m., and will cover a variety of topics including the admissions process, financial aid, business, industry and health and nursing programs. Information about LSC's new men's and women's intercollegiate soccer program (starting fall 2015) will also be available.
• The Duluth Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol hosted the Group 1 Change of Command Ceremony with Maj. Marcus E. Sowl serving as narrator on Jan. 29. Maj. Patrick Lawler assumed command of Minnesota Wing Group 1 replacing Maj. Richard High of Eveleth who held the position for three years. Lt. Col. Clark Carlson, Minnesota Wing vice commander presided over the ceremony and presented High with a Minnesota Wing Commanders Commendation for his service. Group one units include Duluth, Grand Rapids, Bemidji, Walker and Crookston.
• A $45,000 grant from Essentia Health will help the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth invest in high-tech equipment for its new physician assistant program.
The funds will help with the purchase of two SonoSite ultrasound machines, which are used in anatomy instruction and clinical diagnosis.
• Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota received two key grants from Minnesota foundations to support the Center for Changing Lives in the Northland. The Pohlad Family Foundation in Minneapolis and the Ordean Foundation in Duluth joined Lutheran Social Service's commitment to supporting youth facing homelessness as they work to regain stability and find a strong foothold in successful adulthood.
The Pohlad Family Foundation awarded LSS $250,000 to support the construction of the Center for Changing Lives Duluth. The Ordean Foundation made an award of $100,000 to support services for youth in the community.
The Center for Changing Lives in Duluth will bring housing and services for youth together under one roof and will be located in downtown Duluth, on a bus line for easy access. The three-level, approximately 26,000 square foot building will offer supportive counseling and education services, including street outreach; truancy intervention; Renaissance, a transitional housing and life skills program; Oh No 18! for youth aging out of foster care; services for runaway youth; a free teen health and wellness clinic; and Together for Youth, a program serving LGBT youth. It will include 10 units of transitional housing and 10 units of permanent affordable housing.
• The Arrowhead Regional Arts Council awarded a $5,000 grant to Duluth Sister Cities International for its program Art = Bridges to Global Understanding. The project will include Duluth area middle school students learning from professional artists in various media to produce Duluth-themed artwork. The students and their parents will participate in showing their work at various venues in Duluth, culminating in the artwork traveling to Duluth's five sister cities for showings there. The project will develop art and leadership skills in the students while instilling a global awareness.