As most class reunions gather to reacquaint classmates, the Stillwater Class of 1975 put out a challenge to all future reunion committees to encourage their class to not only get together but to find a way to give back to the community.
The Class of 1975 Reunion Committee partnered with Valley Outreach and area businesses to raffle items that would not only generate donations but raise awareness of how Valley Outreach provides food, clothing and emergency financial assistance to eligible St. Croix Valley residents.
On the last beautiful Saturday of September, Stillwater classmates gathered at the Stillwater Country Club to golf, see old friends, eat fabulous food and hear Valley Outreach’s Executive Director Tracy Maki give a brief presentation regarding statistics on Stillwater school district families and seniors who use the Food Shelf and/or The Clothing Closet.
Reunion committee members Eric Peterson, Ester Longseth, Mike Crea, Pat Zeuli, Becky Lyksett, Mitch Hobbins, Eldene Rosenwinkel, Dave Junker and Julie Wylie wrapped up the event presenting $851.00 to Valley Outreach.
Junker said “I would like to have seen more classmates attend” while Rosenwinkel added “it was great to see those who came and we are happy with the amount of money we raised.”
Rosenwinkel continued “what’s fabulous about the power of the dollar, Valley Outreach has the ability to turn $1 into $10 through their alliance with Second Harvest. So in essence, we raised $8,510.00!” Area businesses that contributed goods and services to the event included EJR Enterprises, Fred’s Tire, Lion’s Main, Meister’s Bar and Grill, Not Justa Café, Rose Floral, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Stillwater Balloon, Stillwater Country Club, Stillwater Marina, Stillwater Motors, The Galleries of Eric Peterson and Woody’s Bar& Grill.
Valley Outreach primarily serves households in the Stillwater school district (ISD 834) whose income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guideline or who are in crisis. Key Valley Outreach statistics show the following:
Washington County is the third wealthiest county in Minnesota and the 49th wealthiest in the United States.
Almost forty percent of those served each month by the food shelf are children, twenty percent are elderly and ten percent have a mental or physical disability.
Clients with limited mobility due to age, health and/or disability have the option to have their food delivered to their home.
Valley Outreach provide emergency financial assistance to about 300 households per year.
The Stillwater Class of 1975 set out to offer a different kind of class reunion experience and in doing so, established a challenge and a precedence for all future Stillwater class reunions to give back to the community.
Peterson finished the wrap-up meeting by saying “I can’t wait to see what the class of 1976 is going to do!”
Photo of Stillwater Class of 1975 committee members (left to right) Mitch Hobbins, Becky Lyksett, Pat Zeuli, Eric Peterson, Eldene Rosenwinkel, Mike Crea and Esther Longseth. Missing committee members Dave Junker and Julie Wylie.