Dakota Medical Foundation honors leaders with Star Awards

Dakota Medical Foundation recently presented Phil Hansen, Kim Pladson, Minnesota Flyers Gymnastics, Eric Monson, Jason Markusen, Team Chip members and Stick it to Cancer leaders with Star Awards. The Star Award honors people or organizations who demonstrate exemplary leadership in impacting health in our region.

Hansen is a business owner and retired from the NFL. He is an active community servant and philanthropist. Hansen was instrumental in establishing a physical activity program for children of all abilities in his home community of Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Pladson is Executive Director of TNT Kid’s Fitness and Gymnastics. Under her leadership, TNT has grown exponentially since opening in 2006 and is one of only two gyms in the United States to serve children of all abilities. Pladson’s guidance to Hansen and the Minnesota Flyers enabled them to build a similar program in Detroit Lakes.

Minnesota Flyers Gymnastics provides the setting and equipment for Fly Time, movement and fitness training for children with special needs. The collaboration between Hansen, Pladson and the Flyers is bringing the joy of movement to children who were formerly relegated to the sidelines.

Monson is CEO of the Anne Carlsen Center, which teaches and nurtures individuals with physical or mental disabilities. He has led the center on a growth trajectory, expanding services across North Dakota which empower people with disabilities to build independence, make meaningful contributions and live their passions.

Markusen is principal at Legacy Elementary in West Fargo. His bold vision and trailblazing efforts in transforming the food and fitness culture for children makes him a pioneer in wellness and learning.

Team Chip is a group of north Fargo neighbors who rallied in support of a friend after his cancer diagnosis. Since 2011 their successful fundraiser “Bowlin’ For the Colon” tournament and their dedication to DMF’s Lend A Hand program have been an inspiration. Team Chip members are: Dale Bohner, Tracy Bohner, Mary Johnson, Jeff Michels, Sherrie Peterson, Lori Michels, Judi Schmidt and Terry Schmidt.

Stick It To Cancer began as a fundraiser for a young woman battling breast cancer. As other families in the city’s hockey program have experienced medical catastrophes, Stick It To Cancer evolved into an annual event supporting Lend A Hand. Stick It To Cancer is hosted by hockey players and their families. Ann Kumm, who developed and led the initial event, and Sharon Klein, last year’s organizer, were recognized for their outstanding leadership.


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