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2017 Say Thanks Day


Say Thanks Day


Saturday August 19, 2017

Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Fund held its 13th annual Say Thanks Day event on Saturday, August 19, 2017 at the Boy Scout Base Camp at For Snelling. The morning brought beautiful weather and enthusiastic participants ready to show their appreciation for Minnesota’s service members and their families. Over 450 people came out to enjoy family-friendly activities, live music and to take part in the walk and 5K run. 


Congratulations to the top 5K competitors in each age category:

17 and Under:  Cullen Feist and Velvet Yang

18 – 35: Nathan Martinez and Kathryn Wyatt

36 – 50: Scot Briske and Missy Stearns

51 – 65: Charles Hayes and Martha Hoffman

66 and Over:  Lanny Orning


Participants began arriving before 8:00 a.m. on a beautiful morning, with temperatures in the upper 60s and plenty of sunshine. As participants arrived and checked in, they were greeted by music from the Emerson Avenue Band and a host of volunteers from Sit Investment Associates, TDS Inc. and the Harding High School Junior ROTC program. The event emcee, K102’s Maverick, kicked off pre-race festivities at 8:45, welcoming participants and thanking them for supporting Minnesota’s service members. Following a moment of silence to honor those who have sacrificed their lives for our country, Emerson Avenue played moving renditions of Taps and the Star Spangled. Nearly 200 runners moved to the starting line at 9:00. A few minutes later, more than 250 walkers made their way to the starting line and began the mile walk.  

Maverick opened the post-race program by introducing MMAF, Chair Roger Sit, who gave a brief recap on the current grant totals and the important milestones MMAF has reached in the past year. Roger was joined by MMAF Co-Founder General (Ret) Dennis Schulstad and the two awarded grant checks to Specialist David Bergman of Columbia Heights and Sergeant Ryan Server of Eagan in recognition of their service. Maverick then returned to the stage to recognize the winners of the 5K run. The program concluded with Maverick alerting participants to look to the sky where the Patriot Parachute Team was starting their descent towards Base Camp. The skydivers unfurled a giant American flag as they approached and landed in the ball field adjacent to the crowd.  

A special thanks goes to event sponsors: Sit Investment Associates, Federated Insurance, Atomic Data, TDS Inc., iHeartMedia, B & F Fastener, The Wealth Enhancement group and The Frauenshuh Companies.  Thank you to the Minnesota Army National Guard for providing a static display of military vehicles and portable rock climbing wall. MMAF also thanks the Northern Star Council Boy Scouts of America and Base Camp for allowing Say Thanks Day to take place at their beautiful location.