The golf course at Minnesota’s Long Prairie County Club was filled to capacity on Friday, June 14, when lots of friends, family, former classmates, and other community members showed up in memory of Jodi Huisentruit for what’s become an early summer tradition in her hometown. The annual Day of Hope event, sponsored by area businesses, features a golf scramble, a social hour and dinner to benefit Jodi’s Network of Hope. Sunshine was abundant, and we couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon!
Jodi’s Network, originally founded to honor Jodi’s memory by a group of her closest friends, continues to expand, and has served to help the community with its three part mission to educate, inspire, and remember:
Educate. Elementary school “Safe Side” training has received overwhelming positive feedback over the years, and will serve eight thousand students in 2013 alone. Women’s personal-safety training programs are also conducted through the “Not Me” program, and are highly recommended for women of all ages.
Inspire. This year’s winner of a $4,000 Gumption Scholarship is Emi Jansen, a 2013 graduate of LPGE (Long Prairie-Grey Eagle) High School, who plans to study Biology at Duluth’s St. Scholastica this fall. The $500 Jodi’s Hope award, meanwhile, is given to a sixth grader who writes a winning essay. The young winner also earns the right to read his or her essay on the radio.
Remember. “Gumption” is a word her friends use to define Jodi, a “card carrying optimist and unforgettable friend who always dared to hope.”
Find Jodi team members Gary Peterson (with his wife Gladys – a very capable golfer), Jay Alberio (another very capable golfer who served as coach), and I were on hand for the eighteen-hole afternoon of golf. Jay, Gladys, and Gary led the troops, with my husband Donn LaVoie providing several powerful drives. My own golf talents are somewhat limited (as the team can attest), so my service was better put to use as chief sod-slicer and cheerleader!
Thank you to Long Prairie and Jodi’s Network of Hope – we had a blast!
Click here to see all the images from the event.