Shoreview city council member receives award


Ady Wickstrom is presented with a citizenship award from Beyond the Yellow Ribbon by Craig Boylan and Dana Durkee. (submitted photo)

First-place prize for Shoreview’s annual Human Rights Commission poster contest was presented by Mayor Sandy Martin to Turtle Lake Elementary fourth-grader Amrita Rajesh. (submitted photos)

Second place went to Emmet D. Williams Elementary fourth-grader Ben Frigaard.

Jesse Poole

news editor

 

Fourth-graders weren’t the only award recipients at the Shoreview City Council meeting Tuesday, Feb. 16. Before area students stood up to receive awards presented for the city’s annual Human Rights Commission poster contest, a council member was surprised with her own award, not for art, but for service.

Council member Ady Wickstrom was presented with a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon’s citizenship award, and as intended, she said, “It came as a complete surprise.”

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is a program that creates awareness for the purpose of connecting military service members and their families with community support, training, services and resources.

Wickstrom, according to many, has played an integral role in doing just that in Shoreview and, more broadly, Ramsey County, aligning herself with BTYR’s cause and volunteering with the organization.

Council member Terry Quigley got the ball rolling on the nomination. He said he and many others have noticed Wickstrom’s hard work, and they wanted it to be recognized. 

“She deserves it,” Quigley said. “Any activity that Ady gets involved in, she works intensely on and has always been a very well-informed supporter for anything she participates in.”

Quigley noted that one event Wickstrom has particularly been involved with is Beyond the Yellow Ribbon’s local Build a Burger event. 

“She’s been very instrumental in this fundraising event, which is sponsored by BTYR and the White Bear Lake VFW,” Quigley said.

Wickstrom helps organize BTYR events — everything from parties and picnics to providing holiday groceries and getting people hooked up with home repairs. 

Her favorite events to be a part of, however, are the return ceremonies for military troops. 

“Boy, those are really cool,” Wickstrom shared. “To see kids swept up in their parent’s arms after they haven’t seen each other for a long time, it’s moving.”

Wickstrom said she could think of several others who deserve awards for their work with BTYR because, she said “it’s a team effort,” but specifically, she recognized Alison Bibeau, the current chair for the Suburban Ramsey County BTYR network. “She really deserves an award.”

Wickstrom doesn’t only volunteer her time for events, but she was also a hand in creating the partnership of cities that make the BTYR network which now encompasses Ramsey County suburban cities.

“Alison, though, was very instrumental in getting it kicked off from there,” Wickstrom made sure to note.

Will Wickstrom keep volunteering? 

“Oh yeah, of course,” she said. “We need to support our military families; they’re giving so much and sacrificing so much. It’s important to recognize that and do what we can to help.”

According to Dana Durkee, who works for the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs and serves as the Yellow Ribbon community capacity coordinator, Wickstrom has shown passion in her work with BTYR. 

“Just the fact that Ady has taken up this voluntary role — it’s not part of her written-up job description — and has been so supportive, we can see it’s her passion,” Durkee said. “Also participating the way she does helps her know what’s going on with the military-connected residents in her community. She’s aware of their challenges, their opportunities.”

Durkee said she thinks other residents can learn from Wickstrom’s example. 

As for the other awards given out Tuesday night, you can see the photos of the fourth-grade winner and runner up, and their poster artwork to the left. 

Jesse Poole can be reached at jpoole@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7815. Follow him on Twitter @JPooleNews.

If you go

The Build a Burger events take place every second Monday of the month at the VFW in White Bear Lake. 

Burger building kicks off at 5 p.m. and all are welcome, including children and families. The kitchen closes at 8 p.m., so show up in time to grab your food.

Five bucks for a burger, with fixings to your liking; add-ons such as fries come at $1. All proceeds go to Beyond the Yellow Ribbon’s mission in the community 

For the next event, roll up to the VFW at 4496 Lake Ave S. on Monday, March 14.

 

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