Top 3 Vibrant Communities | May 9 – 13
May 13, 2016 by Blandin Foundation
1. Remer: What do Bigfoot and rural education have in common? Well now they have just a little bit—thanks to Marc Ruyak. When the Remer school district failed to pass a referendum, Marc feared for the future of his small town. He saw a golden opportunity to attract tourists from all over, and it came in the form of a trail camera photograph of the famed Sasquatch. Marc devised a plan to get the next generation of Remer residents involved through “officially” declaring the town as the “Home of Bigfoot”. His method is to use this trusty photo to their economic advantage. A vibrant community certainly needs ingenuity in tough times—and Mark Ruyak has provided!
2. Rice: Would you be able to identify a sugar beet while it’s growing out in the field? How about a soybean? Many of us are somewhat unaware of where our food orinates, let alone what it looks like before the harvest. This disconnect is something that the Schmitt family is trying to change through hosting Farm Camp—a day-long reintroduction to agriculture.
“I’m excited for the kids to learn something,” Mark Schmitt said. “It’s a learning experience. Our own kids and their friends are always learning. Their minds are wide open to learn.”
3. Mabel-Canton: Troy and Trisha Soiney understand the central role of youth in a vibrant community. After each hearing Olympic athlete Vince Poscente speak twice, they invited him to address students in 4th through 12th grade. Not only did Vince eagerly accept the invitation, but he did so for no compensation. His message was one of overcoming fear while focusing on dreams.
“You can create confidence by making the decision that this is going to be fun. If you don’t own it, it’s not yours!” said Poscente.
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