5th Annual GREAT IDEA CHALLENGE COMPETITION Winners, Honors Students

Stillwater Area Foundation Announces 5th Annual GREAT IDEA CHALLENGE COMPETITION Winners, Honors Students

Stillwater, MN: The Stillwater Area Foundation is pleased to announce that Sara Jespersen of “Beautify the Stillwater Stairs” is the winner of the fifth annual $10,000 Great Idea Competition, which was presented at the Foundation’s annual reception and fundraiser at the Lake Elmo Inn Event Center, held on May 17th.

Each year, Stillwater Area Foundation accepts applications from individuals, businesses and other groups who have an idea that will benefit our local communities, and who have the determination to implement that idea.

This year’s Great Idea focuses on cleaning up the Stillwater stairs – plans include adding beautiful native plants, fixing the concrete, and placing lights for safety. Whether the stairs are part of an exercise routine or site-seeing outing, many walkers, runners, and tourists from all over visit Stillwater to view and walk the steps. This project will further enhance a beautiful destination, and encourage a reduction in vandalism, litter, and soil erosion.

Great Idea winners Sara Jespersen and Maria Beaudin, with SAF Board Member Miriam Simmons.

Great Idea winners Sara Jespersen and Maria Beaudin, with SAF Board Member Miriam Simmons.

Past winners of the Great Idea Competition have included the Stillwater dog park, River City Sculpture Tour, and the Pollinator Friendly Alliance. Last year’s award recipient – Pivot Stillwater – will provide a unique “then and now” tour experience of historical points throughout the city of Stillwater. The Pivot App uses smart phone technology to allow people to view a location in Stillwater, display that same scene as it appeared at other times in history, and provide additional historical imagery and narrative.

The May 17th event also honored the Gary & Mary Malmquist Scholarship Recipient – Diana Martinez. The Gary & Mary Malmquist Endowed Scholarship Fund was established in the fall of 2014; because the fund is endowed, this scholarship will be given forever. The scholarship is specific to graduates of the Stillwater Area High School who are planning to attend a post-secondary Minnesota or Wisconsin State institution. Recipients receive $5,000 every fall throughout their four-year experience. Congratulations to this year’s recipient – Diana Martinez.

Stillwater Area High School student Diana Martinez with Gary and Mary Malmquist.

Stillwater Area High School student Diana Martinez with Gary and Mary Malmquist.

The Stillwater Area Foundation was established in 2010 and is an affiliate of the St. Croix Valley Foundation. For more information, go to their website at www.stillwaterareafoundation.org

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