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Say Thanks Day, Saturday June 11, 2011. Victory Memorial Drive


Say Thanks Day, Saturday June 11, 2011

Special Thanks go out to our sponsors; Sit Investment Associates, Federated Insurance, TCF Bank, The Wealth Enhancement Group, Cub Foods, 7Up/Snapple and TDS.

Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Fund held its annual 5K Run / 2 Mile walk, Say Thanks Day, on Saturday, June 11, 2011 on Victory memorial Drive in Minneapolis. The 7th edition of the event again brought a new location and a partnership with Hennepin County as they celebrated the rededication of a renovated World War I monument and upgrades to the scenic parkway. Registration for the walk and race opened at 8:00 a.m. along with festive music from the Emerson Avenue Band. At 8:45, Emerson Avenue played Taps and the Star Spangled Banner to alert runners that the race was about to begin. 300 runners headed south on Victory Memorial Drive at 9:00 with over 500 walkers leaving a few minutes behind them. As participants began to return they were greeted with water donated by 7Up and fruit donated by Cub Foods as the prepared for the post race program. Heidi Collins, anchor for Fox 9 News, took over as the emcee for the program, explaining her appreciation for the military. Heidi then passed the microphone on to General Dennis Schulstad who explained the background of MMAF and the significance of the T6 Texan flyover in missing-man formation. Roger Sit updated participants on the current grant totals and thanked those who had made the day possible before recognizing the three grant recipients on hand to receive their checks. E5 Kyle Tilton and SSG Dean Lyons each received a $500 grant check, while CPL John Elliott received a check for $8,000 dollars for his 3 Purple Hearts. Heidi Collins then returned to the stage to announce the winners of the many door prizes for participants and the 5K winners. Heidi gave a big thank you to everyone in attendance and invited them to attend Say Thanks Day again in 2012.

See Race Results Here

As the MMAF program finished, the Sounds of Blackness entertained the crowd until the 11:00 a.m. rededication program began. June 11th commemorated the 90th anniversary of the original dedication of Victory Memorial Drive. A new flagpole monument and Lincoln statue were dedicated to the service members from Hennepin County who died in the Great War, along with all veterans from Hennepin County and throughout the state. Hennepin County Commissioners Mike Opat and Mark Stenglein joined Senator Amy Klobuchar to dedicate the new monument. Historical exhibits, posters, and other interactive events were on hand for the enjoyment of the crowd. A C130 flyover capped off an exciting morning which was enjoyed by all.