People and Places – April 2018

Teams win adapted hockey titles The Brainerd/Pillar Warriors and the St. Cloud Area Slapshots, took home championship hardware during March’s […]

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Teams win adapted hockey titles

The Brainerd/Pillar Warriors and the St. Cloud Area Slapshots, took home championship hardware during March’s state adapted hockey tournament. The tournament was held at Bloomington Jefferson High School.

The Warriors won their second straight state crown in the PI Division, for student- athletes with physical disabilities. The Warriors defeated the Robins of Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka 11-4. The Warriors won as Brainerd in 1998 and 2000.

Jake Heikkenen paced the champions with four goals and two assists in the title game. Matt Allord scored one goal for the Warriors and added two assists. Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka’s Vincent Luu scored two unassisted goals for the Robins.

The Crimson of Maple Grove claimed third-place honors after defeating Rochester 5-3. Johnny Perez led Maple Grove with one goal and three assists and Kirby Gilbertson tacked on two goals and one assist. Hannah Oakley, Tanner Dickison, and Blake Hillman accounted for Rochester’s goals.

In the consolation final, Dakota United defeated Anoka-Hennepin 8-3. The score was tied 1-1 going into the third period when the Hawks erupted for seven goals. Dakota United’s Riley Wisniewski scored five goals in the final period. Nicholas Reither struck twice for the Mustangs in the third period. Other teams in the tournament were the Mounds View/Irondale/Roseville Rams and the St. Paul Humboldt Hawks.

All-tournament team members are Tyler Ezell, Anoka-Hennepin; Wisniewski, Dakota United; Oakley and Toriano Dixon, Rochester; Joe Witters and Kirby Gilbertson, Maple Grove; Luu, Calvin Gerdt and Hayley Engebretsen, Robbinsdale and Heikkenen, Jacob Heinlen and Cody Vleck, Brainerd.

In the CI Division, for athletes with cognitive disabilities, the St. Cloud Area Slapshots won a second state title, defeating the South Washington County Thunderbolts,  13-4. St. Cloud was runner-up in 2017 to North Suburban and last won the state crown in 2007.

In the CI title game, St. Cloud Area’s Brian Jones scored six goals and added two assists. Tyler Tinucci scored all four goals for the Thunderbolts.

Two-time defending champions, the North Suburban Cougars, took third place by defeating the Anoka-Hennepin Mustangs, 9-3. The Cougars were led by Nikoli Marr, who finished the game with five goals. Dylan Theroux scored two goals for the Mustangs.

The Trojans of New Prague/TCU/LHS/Belle Plaine/Jordan defeated Maple Grove 11-2 to claim consolation honors. Garrett Gagner scored four goals and added three assists for the Trojans. Dylan Raaen added six points for New Prague/TCU/LHS/Belle Plaine/Jordan. Jose Gutierrez-Peralta had one goal and one assist for Maple Grove. The Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville Blazing Cats and Mounds View/Irondale/Roseville Rams were also in the tournament.

The all-tournament team members are Paige Faber, Maple Grove; Jake Schurman, New Prague; James Oakley and Amani Tarleton, Anoka-Hennepin; Marr and Josh Hamann, North Suburban; Tinucci and Nathan Ponder, South Washington; and Jones, Dayton Wientjes and Tyler Everts of St. Cloud.

The teams play regular-season schedules. The competition is under the auspices of the Minnesota State High School League.



Artists are awarded grants

Six Minnesota artists have been awarded 2018 Emerging Artist Grants of $2,000 each by VSA Minnesota. The 22nd annual awards, funded by the Jerome Foundation, recognize excellence by emerging Minnesota artists with disabilities and encourage them to create new work.

The six were selected from a field of 37 applicants.

Shelia D. Nelson of St. Paul, Chris Juhn of Burnsville and Harrison Halker Heinks of Edina are all photographers. John Lee Clark of Hopkins is a poet. Mike Harris Jr. of Minneapolis is a painter. D. Allen of Minneapolis is a poet and essayist.

The grants were awarded following a jurying process conducted by individuals with backgrounds in the written, visual and performing arts. Panelists looked at samples of the artists’ work, resumes and artist statements. Artists who scored highest in artistic quality and career received awards. Four grantees are first-time Jerome grant recipients. Two are previous recipients.

Between 1996 and 2018, 138 grant awards have gone to 106 individuals, including 28 repeat winners, 72 visual artists, 34 writers, 23 performers or composers, and nine multi-media artists.



MOFAS announces leadership change, retirements

The Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) is making leadership changes, just in time for its 20-year anniversary. The organization works on issues related to fetal alcohol syndrome disorder (FASD).

New board leaders include Board President Maya Tester, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney; Vice President Laura Bloch, a parent of a child with an FASD; Treasurer Ted Chien, president and CEO at Sullivan Cotter & Associates; and Secretary Mary Meland, M.D., a retired pediatrician.

“Every young woman who plans to have children—and each of us who love and support these young women— needs to know that alcohol use during pregnancy can cause profound and permanent brain damage in the developing fetus. The science is clear,” said Tester. “MOFAS has been the leader in FASD prevention and intervention for the past twenty years and is now poised to spread its groundbreaking initiatives nationally. It is an incredibly exciting time for the organization, and I am committed to doing everything I can to help advance MOFAS’ message and mission.”

MOFAS will host a celebration on May 10 to honor former Minnesota First Lady and outgoing Board President Susan Carlson. Carlson was instrumental in founding MOFAS in 1998. She’ll now be the board president emeritus.

Other outgoing board members and officers are Vice President Cathy Bruer-Thompson, Treasurer Andrea Winghart, and Secretary Sliv Carlson.

“I’m grateful that we have such dedicated board members. Our outgoing board leaders have played key roles in bringing our organization, and this issue, where we are today and will continue to serve on the board,” said MOFAS Executive Director Sara Messelt, “and I anticipate our new leaders will bring us to great heights in years to come.”

For more information on MOFAS and the May 10 event, go to



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