PEOPLE AND PLACES - January 2019

Pure Life Energy is her focus

Katie Wornson-Knaak has taken her knowledge of and reliance on holistic healing methods to start her own business. She recently opened Pure Life Energy in the Shops of Galaxie in Apple Valley. Wornson-Knaak is a gifted Reiki master.

Reiki is a form of alternative medicine known as “energy healing.” It is a holistic healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being.

Wornson-Knaak was born with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair much of the time. She considers herself to be a living testimony to the power of alternative healing methods. She has experienced true miracles in her life and credits her connection to her higher self for restoring her faith, reducing her physical pain, giving her motivation and boosting her confidence. Knowing how much that power has changed her own life for the better, she has gone forth and is building a practice where she can pay it forward and guide others as they promote positive changes in their lives through their own healing power.

Wornson-Knaak has never let what some may refer to as a disability slow her down. Instead, she channels her “different ability” energy and proves that with grit and determination she can accomplish nearly anything she sets her mind to.

Her business can be followed on Facebook, at PureLife Energy.

 

 

Pilot program provides jobs

Jewish Housing and Programming (J-HAP) has welcomed Isadore Nut Company to its kitchen at Cornerstone Creek, in a pilot program that provides customized employment opportunities for adults with disabilities and a production space for a socially responsible nut roasting company.

Cornerstone Creek in Golden Valley is an affordable apartment complex where adults with developmental disabilities live independently. It is also now home to the production line for Isadore. The new workers help with the packaging and production of gourmet nut snacks and gifts. They also weigh nuts and label packages that are sold online and at select stores
throughout the Twin Cities.

“We are thrilled to partner with Isadore Nut Company and support their enhanced mission to be an inclusive employer,” said Nicole Rabinowitz, J-HAP’s Kitchen Director. “This collaboration is a win-win for all by helping create and support customized employment for people with different abilities, while providing kitchen space and production.”

“I have always been passionate about finding ways to make more than just a healthy nut mix,” said Isadore Nut Company founder Tasya Kelen. “The opportunity to work with J-HAP came at the perfect time. We were looking to make some changes and this pilot program highlights an individual’s skills and interests while benefiting the production of our business. As a result, we started with a snack that’s good for you and serendipitously we are now becoming a ‘do good snack’.”

Isadore is named after the founder’s grandfather who believed food is medicine. The company hand roasts organic and premium nuts in small batches, seasoned with wholesome and nourishing spices. All products created from the heart are vegan, gluten-free, soy and sugar-free. All of the nut mixes and combinations are inspired by tastes from around the world.

J-HAP was formed to serve the lifelong needs of adults with developmental disabilities. The only program of its kind in Minnesota, J-HAP provides a way of life with an array of progressive amenities that allow individuals to live independently, increase self-esteem and thrive within a Jewish community that is open to all. In 2017, J-HAP opened Cornerstone Creek.

 

Doss takes directorship again

Kelly Doss has been named the executive director of Advocacy and Inclusion Matter of West Central Minnesota. (AIM). AIM used to be the Arc Kandiyohi County, but changed its name and became independent in early 2016.

The organization’s core mission of providing support, advocacy and inclusion services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have remained the same. The Willmar area group decided it could best serve its community as an autonomous entity. The move was touted as providing flexibility and keeping resources in the local area.

AIM has provided advocacy, education, and social inclusion services for 60 years. The goal is to assist people with disabilities in living healthy, independent lives.

This is Doss’ second tenure as executive director, having served in the post from 2015 to 2017.

 

Teams win soccer crowns

New champions were crowned in the Minnesota State High School League’s fall adapted soccer tournaments. A longtime Minnesota adapted sports program claimed the PI Division crown, while a Greater Minnesota team won the CI title.

The PI Division is for student-athletes with physical disabilities. The CI Division is for student-athletes with cognitive disabilities. Adapted soccer is the first of the year’s tournaments, with more than half a dozen adaptive sports offered for Minnesota prep athletes. This year’s tournament was at Stillwater Area High School.

St. Paul Humboldt, described by one of its coaches as the “little team that could,” won the PI Division title with a 5-4 victory over Dakota United. Dakota United had handed the Hawks the team’s only loss during the regular season. Dakota United, a consortium of Dakota County schools, was the defending PI champion.

Humboldt topped Moundsview/Irondale/Roseville and Rochester to get to the title game. The Hawks had the smallest team in numbers in the tournament. No one expected the Hawks to reach the state tournament, let alone win the title. Humboldt was one of the first in the state to offer adapted sports.

Perennial adapted sports powerhouse Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound-Westonka took third place with a win over Rochester, 3-2. Minneapolis South won the consolation title over Park Center, 10-4. Anoka-Hennepin was also in the tournament.

The 2018 Minnesota State Adapted Soccer PI Division All-Tournament team members are Johnny Perez, Park Center; Edgar Vicente Morales, Minneapolis South; Matthew Horsman and Dayne Bailey, Rochester; Izear Joiner and Vincent Luu, Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka; Giovanna Ayers, Blake Jackson and Samuel Gerten, Dakota United; and Isa Mazariego Fernandez, Moustaohe Mouhoumed and Liban Farah, St. Paul Humboldt.

St. Cloud Area won the CI Division with a 3-0 victory over South Washington County. The team defeated Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville and Chaska/Chanhassen/Prior Lake/Shakopee to reach the title game.

Park Center topped Chaska/Chanhassen/Prior Lake/Shakopee. 5-3, for third place. The Pirates were the three-time defending champions. St. Cloud Area’s only loss during the season was to Park Center.

White Bear Lake won the consolation title over Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville, 5-4. Other teams in the tournament were South Suburban and Mounds View/Irondale/Roseville.

The CI Division All-Tournament team members are Rio McGrew and Mohammed Konneh, Park Center; Abby Schrick, Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville; Tavis Dean, White Bear Lake; Nathan Castaneda and Tyler Johnson, Chaska/Chanhassen/Prior Lake/Shakopee; Davon Lanz, Jack Swedahl and Tyler Tinucci, South Washington County; Nick Giff, Jordan Williams and Brian Jones, St. Cloud Area.

Teams are presented by Wells Fargo and the Minnesota State High School League and selected by a panel of coaches attending the tournament.