The Full Stride Fund has been established in memory of Curtis and Marlene (Hanson) Johnson, in order to enable youth participation in various growth activities. Marlene and Curtis were both lifelong residents of the Thief River Falls area whose children, Susanne, Paul, and Jana attended Thief River Falls public schools and participated in several extracurricular activities. Marlene and Curtis were avid supporters of various youth activities, including 4-H, Scouts, Band, and athletic programs. They believed that the extracurricular activities and experiences, when combined with a good education, would provide youth with the opportunity flourish in whatever area they chose. It was important to them that any child who wanted to participate in an activity have that opportunity, and that is the philosophy behind the Full Stride Fund.
"Growing up, participation in activities that would help us develop were always prioritized above buying new cars or clothes," noted Paul Johnson, now of Excelsior, MN. "We always found a way participate in a sport or take a trip we had earned. That was very important to them." The concern that children be able to engage in positive activities extend beyond their own children, as Curtis and Marlene did what they could to ensure all children were exposed to opportunities to grow.
Marlene Johnson died in February, 2003, and her husband Curtis died five years later in February, 2008. This Fund is meant to continue their work of enabling youth to participate in activities that will allow them to reach their full potential.