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3/26/2008 – News

Volume 125, Number 8            Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Six-year-old is major contributor to the fight against cancer
Editor’s note: This article concerns Esmond native Tonia Erickson of Harvey. She is the daughter of Ron and Karen Schneider of Rugby, formerly of Esmond, where he managed the elevator. Tonia is a 1991 graduate of Esmond High School. Sherri Engkvist of Esmond is the daughter of Bernadine Kanzelman of Flora and the late George Kanzelman. She is a 1990 graduate of Maddock High School. Tonia and Sherri are both employed at St. Aloisius Medical Center in Harvey. Caring and giving must be a family trait for the Erickson family.
Tonia Erickson has been involved in The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life for several years, first as part of a team, then as a team captain, then on the Harvey Area Relay for Life core committee and 2008 is her second year as being the event co-chairman with Sherri Engkvist. Her daughters have been involved by being on teams and raising funds. Now her youngest daughter, McKenzie, has just cut off her long golden hair to donate it to Locks of Love.
Locks of Love takes donated hair and turns it into wigs for those who have lost their hair from cancer. The hair must be at least 10 inches long (that is a lot if you have ever tried to grow your own hair to that length) and McKenzie donated 17 inches! Nikki Alexander of New Image Hair Salon in Harvey reports this is the most she has ever cut off for a donation.
McKenzie, who is only 6 years old, was one of the youngest participates at last year’s relay and at 5 a.m. was still walking laps!
Cancer and its devastating effects has been a topic of conversation at the Erickson home, as has been doing things to help find a cure and help those affected by cancer. McKenzie must have been listening and paying attention. She has been growing out her hair and planning for at least the past year. She was excited to be able to help others, her mom Tonia said.
Harvey will again hold an area Relay for Life event. Relay for Life is not only about raising funds to help find a cure for cancer, it is also about education in cancer prevention and cancer treatment. It is about bringing hope to those suffering from cancer, to support those battling cancer and caring for loved ones with cancer.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) ensures all funds are used properly. Less than 7% of donations go to administrative costs. The donations fund scientists looking for cures for cancer. Sixty percent of all ASC funds come from Relay for Life which is conducted almost 100% by volunteers. Harvey’s Relay for Life overhead cost last year was less than 5% of the total funds raised.
The ACS has a toll-free line staffed with professionals to answer questions 24 hours a day. The ACS Web site is located at
If you are interested in being part of the Area Relay for Life it is not just about raising funds. Last year a team used the relay as a family reunion event. Having a team and being part of this event is a great way to support your loved one battling cancer or a great way to thank a caregiver.
Those with questions about The American Cancer Society or the Harvey Area Relay for Life may contact Tonia Erickson at 324-4470 or Sherri Engkvist at 249-3242.

Six-year-old McKenzie Erickson holds the 17 inches of hair she donated to Locks of Love.

Brown honored in Denver
A Colorado athlete with Esmond roots was honored as an all-around athlete, participating in softball, basketball and track, while at the same time maintaining a 4.0 grade point average while in high school. Amanda Brown of Limon, Colo. was recognized March 9 by the Sportswomen of Colorado’s 34th annual awards banquet at the Marriot Tech Center in Denver, Colo.
While in high school her softball team went to the world series twice. She was a key player for her dad and coach, Mark Brown, whose Limon Badgers girls basketball team won the state championship in its class three times. She also won many track awards and helped the Badgers win the 1A state track meet all four years she was in high school.
She now attends Valley City State University, where she plays basketball for the Lady Vikings.
She is the daughter of Esmond High School graduate Mark Brown (1977) and his wife, Kathy of Limon. Grandparents are Reuben and Dorothy Brown of Esmond.

Amanda Brown, center, holds a certificate proclaiming her an all-around athlete. Pictured, left to right at the awards banquet in Denver where she was honored, are grandparents Reuben and Dorothy Brown of Esmond; Rocky Rockwell, her softball coach; Kathy Brown, her mother; behind Amanda are her brothers, Matt and Jason Brown; Mark Brown, her father and basketball coach; and Dave Grimes, her track coach. Mark Brown is a 1977 graduate of Esmond High School.

Boy with Esmond roots wins award
An eighth grader at Erik Ramstad Middle School in Minot was one of six Minot recipients of the American Youth Character Award.
James Murphy, the son of Esmond native Kathy Jensen of Minot, was one of the six. He is the grandson of Wayne and Fay Jensen of Esmond.
The students are chosen on the basis of trustworthiness, respect for others, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. The students were honored at a banquet January 30 at Minot State University.
Murphy is a standout because of his positive attitude and perseverance, said his teachers. "Jamie will open doors and volunteer to help a teacher as needed — not because he wants a "gotcha" buck, only because he knows it is the right thing to do for others," wrote Bryn Iverson.
"He is a great helper to his mom, who has a day care," wrote teacher Lana Martin. "He pitches in to do his part in the family."
"In sixth grade he was always the first to volunteer," wrote teacher John Melland. "He was always the first to praise someone else when they did well or was often the first to help someone who was in need.
Jamie is a person who is very sensitive to others’ feelings. He is so very willing to put his needs aside to help others first. These past two years, I have witnessed this humble servant of the community quietly do the things that often are overlooked by many . . . little things that are so necessary for big things to happen."

James Murphy

Soldier Becky visits
Soldier Becky surprised the Warwick Kindergarten Class with her presence on March 18. Rebecca Gutierrez (Soldier Becky), who has been serving with the US Air Force in Iraq, visited the kindergarten class because it adopted her while she was serving there. The Warwick kindergarteners give her a warm welcome.

The students sent gifts to her and she responded by giving each student a cupcake with a flag in it along with red, white and blue patriotic balls. Soldier Becky is shown here with Brielle Ramierez.

Big dog!
Ethan Markestad of Maddock exhibited his magnificent St. Bernard at the petting zoo during the Ag Show. in Maddock March 19. The big animal was a favorite.

Three-year-old Shawn Foss was a little leery of Murph, the big St. Bernard. Shawn’s father, Scott Foss of Maddock reassured him that the gentle dog was perfectly safe to pet. Shawn remained skeptical.

Kristina Trautman of Maddock provides a lap for a Chesapeake Bay Retreiver-Golden Lab cross pup’s nap.

A decent crowd attended the Ag Show at Maddock March 19. Paul Backstrom of Maddock, right, explains his offerings to County Agent Scott Knoke, left, and Bumpy Schmid of Minnewaukan.

The Benson County Farmers Union provided a meal of spaghetti, meat sauce, corn, garlic toast and ice cream for $1, to underscore the farmer’s share of the meal’s cost. Carroll and Joan Gilbertson are shown going through the line on the right. The meal was catered by Maddock Cafe & Lanes. Ryan Wheeler of the cafe is on the left dishing up corn and spaghetti.

Leprechauns visit
The Warwick kindergarten students were stunned upon their arrival at school on St. Patrick’s Day. Klint Georgeson, Kalem Jackson and Montero Redfox look over the mayhem caused by leprechauns.
Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Erickson is part Irish and the leprechauns follow her to whatever school she is teaching and trash her room the night before St. Patrick’s Day.

More of the mess can be seen in this photo. When Mrs. Erickson showed up the next morning, she walked in on the janitor, the elementary principal and high school principal on their hands and knees, cleaning up the room, thinking someone had vandalized it. They were relieved when Mrs. Erickson explained that leprechauns were to blame. By the time students arrived, the room was back in its trashed condition. A note was found saying, "I won’t be caught, but I left you my pot." The kindergarteners eventually found the pot full of candy and a small green shoe that must have been lost by one of the leprechauns.

Leeds Iditarod race
The Leeds Elementary School held its own Iditarod March 12, the culmination of an elementary-wide unit of study on the Alaskan Iditarod.
Each class had its own team with the second and third graders combined to make one team due to their smaller class sizes. Teams consisted of one driver, one rider and the rest pulling the sled. At each checkpoint there were "vet checks," snacks, water, etc. and positions were switched.
The teams started out at the school in kick sleds provided by Tony and Carol Thompson and George and Inger Thompson, all of Harlow. With only three sleds available, the race was held in two shifts.
The route was shorter for the kindergarten and first graders: from the school to the Leeds Lutheran Church, to Farm House Cafe and back to school on old Hwy 2. The rest went from the school to the city park, past Chad’s Amoco to the post office, then east on main street back to the school.
Because of the stormy weather and brisk west wind, participants wore their heaviest winter gear.

Second graders Dani Schwanke (driver) and Rochelle Hansen (rider) get ready for the run. Members of the fourth grade class look on. From left is Devin Schwanke, Brandi Blegen, Mathias Follman, Aidan Rittermen, Riley Lawrence, Nikara Nelsen (not facing the camera), Tyler Blegen, Austin Blazer, Richelle Darling, Paige Johnson and Katelyn Nelsen.

The kindergarten sled is being vet checked at the starting point by Katrina Lybeck, who is recording medical information on her clipboard. Driver of the sled is Tristin Burtchell. Macy Engstrom is the rider and Chynna Cavanaugh looks on. Sixth grade team handler Steve Hausmann is in the background and the first grade team handler, Ali Strand stands next to Lybeck. The handlers ran the course with their teams.

Warwick School spirit
Warwick School students and staff were busy making preparations to show their school spirit at the regional basketball tournament in Devils Lake. Warwick fans unrolled a crowd-sized banner at the game.

Dancia Delorme cleans up after the crowd banner was ripped to shreds by Warwick fans.

Students Trevor Alberts, Haley Yankton, Dancia Jackson and Amanda Robertson paint banners.

Anthony Sanmiguel and Keisha Georgeson paint posters, while their classmates hold up some of the finished posters. The team played well and ended up in fourth place.

Dean of students Cory Delorme puts finishing touches on a giant wall poster headed to the Devils Lake Sports Center.

Parade of champs
Each year the Parade of Champions is held the final night of the ND Class B boys’ basketball tournament. Students earning top honors in high school activities promoted by the ND High School Activities Association are literally "spotlighted" during the parade. On March 15th at the Fargodome, the Benson County Wildcats girls’ track and field team walked in the parade as the 2007 state Class B champions. The team consists of student-athletes from Leeds, Maddock and Minnewaukan.

The Benson County Wildcats’ 3200 meter girls relay team took first place at state last spring earning them a spot in the Parade of Champions. Left to right are Lindsay Anderson of Leeds, Erin Leier of Maddock and Bobbi Grann and Katrece Thompson of Minnewaukan. Anderson was also recognized as the winner of the 3200 meter run and walked through a second time as the girls’ Class B cross-country champ.

Hippology contest
The state hippology contest was held March 7 at the Valley City Winter Show in Valley City. Twenty-five junior teams competed. Taking second place was Benson Team 2. Members of the team, left to right, are Jessica Johnson, Katherine Sears, Chelsey Weigler, and Katie Rice.

Benson Team 1 took 12th place. Members of the team, left to right, are Micki Brandvold, Shelby Brandvold, Alyssa Nystrom and Savana Nystrom.

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