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Foundation Board Member Dave Onkka presented
Emma Christianson with the 2022 Curtis Lyle Charlson Memorial Scholarship.
Curtis Lyle Charlson, was a long-time Thief River Falls resident, trial attorney and community leader. Curtis and Marilyn’s seven children were educated in the Thief River Falls school system Karen, Mark, Steven, Kirsten, Kathryn, Elaine and Eric.
While in the Navy in the 1940s, Mr. Charlson attended communications school at Harvard and received his undergraduate degree at Bowling Green University. He received his law degree in 1950 at the University of Minnesota. As a Naval Reserve Officer, Mr. Charlson was recalled to serve during the Korean Conflict in March 1951, where he was a Communications Officer with the Admiral of the 7th Fleet in the Pacific. Upon his return from the Korean Conflict, Mr. Charlson served as a member of the newly formed Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps of the Navy.
Mr. Charlson moved to Thief River Falls and began his practice of law with Hans Chommie in November 1959. Mr. Charlson was elected as County Attorney for four years early in his career, but for most of his practice, he was the senior member of his own law firm.
Mr. Charlson was active in the Thief River Falls community; he was elected as the first president of the Friends of the Library, president of the Northwestern Hospital Board, Chairman of the School Board and served on the First Federal Savings & Loan board.
Mr. Charlson was a well-respected trial lawyer throughout the state of Minnesota, and was known to all for his integrity, sense of humor and humility. He frequently championed the rights of those he believed were not receiving their due in the world – especially women’s rights. During his tenure with the School Board, Mr. Charlson successfully brought girls’ sports to Thief River Falls. Three of his daughters formed half of the first Lincoln High School Girl’s Golf Team in the early ‘70s.
This scholarship will be awarded to a female Lincoln High School graduate, who is active in golf, is enrolled in a post-secondary college or university and who exemplifies strong personal values.
Foundation member Dave Onkka presented the 2022 Tony Dorn Sr. Student Athlete Scholarship to Jack Onkka and Bella Berzinksi.
The children of Tony Dorn Sr. have established the Tony Dorn Sr. Student Athlete Scholarship at the Thief River Falls Education Foundation in honor of Tony’s 80th birthday.
Pictured presenting the award to their father are children; Tony Dorn Jr., Kaye Dorn Marvin, and Lynn Dorn
Tony Dorn Sr. a 1944 Lincoln High graduate lettered three years in Sr. High in football, hockey and track. (Senior High was then Sophomore, Junior and Senior years). He was captain of the hockey team and played on the 1942 Invitational State Team, which won that championship. He was named in the Minnesota High School League handbook, as one of the outstanding football players in the state.
He was invited by the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team in 1944 to their training camp and was signed and played the winter of 1944-45 in the East Coast League. Tony was the first hockey player from Thief River Falls ever to be signed to a professional contract.
In 1945 he enlisted in the Navy, and after service intended to go back to the Blackhawks, but his father died and family circumstances dictated a change in plans. He stayed in Thief River Falls and played hockey in the States-Dominion and Northwest Hockey Leagues for many years. He was named to numerous all-star teams, one being the all-star team representing Crookston, which went on to win the U.S. Senior Hockey Championship.
Tony was invited to the Olympics and this time business prohibited his accepting. During that time, he was one of the first youth hockey coaches in Thief River Falls who helped organize the youth hockey program which has now evolved into the present TRFAHA program.
He was employed by Grundy’s Office Supplies and eventually bought the business he had worked for for many years and has made it into a large and still-growing business operation. He opened a store in Grand Forks as well, and has been recognized by the Canon Corporation as one of the most successful distributorships in their company.
The 2022 Al Gustafson Memorial Scholarship was presented to Breanna Lee by Board Member Polly Gustafson.
The Al Gustafson “Al Gus” Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a Lincoln High School hockey player, male or female, who has lettered in hockey and will be continuing their education next fall. A letter from a hockey coach must be submitted with their comments on the level of effort and character displayed by the student.
Al Gustafson loved hockey…he started playing hockey as a young boy and continued his love as a referee and playing Oldtimers until the time of his passing. Al served as a mentor to many young referees. Al loved hunting…he grew up hunting and enjoyed the solitude of nature. Al loved flying…he took his first solo flight in December 1973 and since logged many hours through the years.
Al loved giving back…this scholarship was established by his wife Pauline, son Derek, daughter-in-law Heather Bjerken, Hallock graduating class of 1966, and from the proceeds of donations given in Al’s memory. This is their way to give back to the community that Al loved.
Foundation Board member Holly Haugen presented the 2022 David Lee Johnson
Memorial Scholarship to Breanna Lee, Brett Holmer (not pictured) and Alex Von Holtum (not pictured).
David lee johnson team hockey photograph 1987
David Lee Johnson, son of Pauline and Dave Johnson, was a 1987 graduate of Lincoln High School. Dave's love for hockey showed with playing with the Prowlers along with NDSU Bison, and coaching in the TRFHA youth hockey program for years. In the later part of Dave's life, he was an assistant high school coach for the Prowlers. The David Lee Johnson Scholarship fund is to assist Lincoln High School girls and boys hockey players going on to further their education. It was established by Prowler Hockey, the Hockey Community and David Lee's Family and Friends. Applicants must be a Lincoln High School hockey player, must submit a letter of recommendation from a teacher and must play in the David Lee Johnson golf tournament.
The 2022 N. Quentin and Elizabeth McBride Jones Athletic Perseverance Award
was presented to Zach Wikert by Foundation Board member Darla Hegge.
The N. Quentin and Elizabeth McBride Jones Perseverance Award was established in 1997 by their sons to commemorate their commitment to both education and athletic achievement/participation. This is an annual scholarship of $500.00 that is awarded to a Lincoln High School graduate who has achieved better than a B grade average and has participated in an individual sport (track, golf, swimming, wrestling, etc.) during his/her high school career. Emphasis is placed, not on being a stand-out performer, but in a person's work ethic and persistence in achieving the most of his/her academic and athletic abilities.
The scholarship was created to honor N. Quentin Jones and Elizabeth McBride Jones, both of whom taught for extended periods in The Thief River Falls education system. Quentin taught and coached from 1942 - 1972 while Elizabeth's tenure was 1958 - 1975. Both were dedicated educators who both demanded and successfully induced their students and athletes to attain and to exceed their potential. This was done by encouraging hard work, persistence, and the dedication to achieving realistic goals. Both emphasized effort exerted in the attempt to achieve goals rather than the final results. Both went to great ends to provide opportunities to their students/athletes by patiently and lovingly getting their students more involved in the classroom, enabling kids living on farms to participate more in sports by doing their driver's education driving themselves home after practice, and by opening the gym to all on Saturday mornings
The 2022 Edward "Coach" Krystosek Memorial Scholarship was
presented to Cody Wienen by LHS teacher and coach, Kenny Geiser.
Ed Krystosek spent the majority of his career at Lincoln High School. With strict rules, challenging assignments, high expectations for behavior and a pure love of what he was doing, he taught all students and athletes many valuable life lessons on respect, dedication and integrity. He retired from Lincoln as a 31-year educator of social studies and history, and a 13-year wrestling coach.
Ed was a man of great character. He took pride in his work, showed patience in times of difficulty and spoke with honesty. He was a faithful man that lived passionately, shared knowledge graciously and asked insightful questions. He was grateful for all things, most especially to wake up in the morning and be able to say, “I’m here for another day.” In his stories, he could make the plain-old seem extraordinary because that’s what it actually was.
Ed and his wife Patricia, raised five children all of whom are graduates of Lincoln High School, Sharon (‘80), Mary (‘82), Sarah (‘85), Edward (‘90), and Simon (‘95). This scholarship was established by Sharon and John (’76) Larson to honor their father and friend.
This scholarship will be awarded to a Lincoln High School graduate who is active in the wrestling program and will be continuing their education.
Susan Olson, presented the 2022 Myles Olson
Memorial Scholarship to Brady Kasprick.
Myles Olson graduated from Lincoln High School in 1966. A highlight of his high school career was going to state in 1964.
A scholarship in his memory has been established. His daughters, Heather, Myndy and Katy also graduated from Lincoln. His wife, Susan, taught in the District for 39 years, retiring in 2010 with Myles.
This scholarship is for a Lincoln High School senior who is active in the wrestling program.
LHS Teacher and Coach Kenny Geiser presented the 2022 Takedown Club Scholarships to (from left) Colin Bruggeman, Brady Kasprick and Cody Wienen
The 2022 Prowler Boys Basketball Alumni Scholarships were presented to Zach Wikert, Jack Onkka and Dylan Hahn by Coach Nathan Hruby.
The Prowler Boys Basketball Alumni Scholarship was started as a way for alumni to show their appreciation to a program that helped mold the adults and citizens they are. The Prowler tradition doesn't end after graduation, it lives on forever.
LHS Teacher and Coach Jon Hams presented the 2022 Jim Sims Memorial Scholarship to Abigail Flaagan.
The 2022 Ralph & Senora Skay Scholarship is presented to Isaac Dakken by board member Dave Onkka.
Senora Skay attended Moorhead State University and earned a degree to teach elementary grades. She also attended summer sessions at Moorhead & Bemidji colleges. She taught elementary grades at Heiberg, Blackduck (where she met Ralph) also Preston & Thief River Falls. For 22 years, Senora was a substitute teacher and a reading instructor in all five grade schools in Thief River Falls.
As the wife of a high school coach, she tended to many duties -- from washing uniforms to keeping score. She celebrated the victories and eased the losses. She was an ardent PROWLERS, Twins, and Vikings Fan.
Senora Volunteered many hours in her church and community. She served on the committee for Northrop PTA, the TRF Arts Council, the Concert Series, Hospital Auxiliary, American Legion Girls State Committee, and the American Legion Auxiliary. Every spring Senora would sell daffodils for the American Cancer Society.
Both Senora & Ralph would have "smiles on their faces" as the receipts of this scholarship take advantage, and continue their education and increase their knowledge.
Mr. Ralph Skay taught at Blackduck, Spring Grove, Preston, and Milaca, Minnesota schools before moving to Thief River Falls in 1952. He served as a head football coach for 15 years. He taught science and coached basketball. He initiated a high school baseball program in Thief River Falls in the spring of 1953. He was also Athletic Director and Attendance Director. During his coaching career, he had three teams compete in the state baseball tournaments. Three athletes, during their high school careers made the all-state Minnesota team, two in football and one in baseball. Mr. Skay retired from teaching and coaching 1978 after 38 years.
When Ralph retired from coaching, he was honored with Ralph Skay Day on May 20, 1974, declared by Mayor Bob Carlson. He was inducted into the Minnesota Coaches Hall of Fame in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in November of 1982. He was awarded a Quarter Century Coach Citation by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune for outstanding coaching in high school and American Legion teams.