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2011 Eleven Who Care Honorees Announced

For Immediate Release: January 31, 2011

Contact: Mandy Whiteside

27th year of honoree outstanding volunteers

MINNEAPOLIS -– The 27th class of Eleven Who Care honorees has been selected and will be recognized throughout 2011. The Eleven Who Care program recognizes outstanding volunteers and encourages others to get involved in their community.

Each year 11 outstanding volunteers are recognized through the Eleven Who Care program, meaning that the stories of nearly 300 volunteers have been shared with the community. Each story is unique and inspiring; this year’s honorees are no different.

The 2011 recipients of the Eleven Who Care award are:

  • Tony Caponi (Eagan, Minn.)– Founder and Artistic Director of Caponi Art Park and Learning Center in Eagan. The Park is a place where visitors can experience art and nature together.
  • Ben Christenson (Eagan, Minn.) – Mentor through Big Brother Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities. Ben has mentored Arthur for 4 years and has had a great impact on his academics and future plans.
  • Joan Donner (Mora, Minn.) – Co-founder of F.I.S.H. (Friends in Service to Humanity), an organization that provides support for those in need in Mora, and volunteer coordinator at the Mora Food Bank.
  • Karen Good (Trail, Minn.) – Director of Red Lake Rosie’s Rescue, an animal rescue near the Red Lake Reservation. She also works with the community on topics of animal care and respect.
  • Kathy Hult (Edina, Minn.)– Volunteer with the ALS Association & Helping Paws. Kathy was diagnosed with ALS over 11 years ago and is an advocate and inspiration to others.
  • Jeff Matt (Chisago City, Minn.) – Key supporter of Free to Be, Inc., an organization that provides vehicles and vehicle repairs to residents of Anoka County. Jeff provides essential expertise and facilities to the organization.
  • Susie Miller (Coon Rapids, Minn.) – Founder of Minnesota Special Hockey, a program providing the opportunity for people with disabilities to play hockey in the State of Hockey.
  • Richard Proudfit (Golden Valley, Minn.) – Founder of Kids Against Hunger, an organization that feeds hungry children around the world.
  • Father Bernard Reiser (Coon Rapids, Minn.) – Described as a legend in Anoka County, he is involved with a variety of community programs. He created Reiser Relief, Inc. to help the people of Haiti.
  • Margie Sborov (Bloomington, Minn.) – Founder of Angel Foundation, providing assistance and support to families with a parental cancer diagnosis.
  • Irene Theile (Minneapolis) – Known at the Minnesota Teen Challenge as “the Cookie Lady” she, among other things, bakes and delivers 50 dozen cookies to the Teen Challenge residences weekly.

One of the 2011 Eleven Who Care award recipients will be honored each month during KARE 11 news programs and on Each honoree will recommend an organization to the Gannett Foundation for a $1,100 donation to be made in their name. Additionally, each honoree will receive the 11 Caring Tree statute, created for this program by local sculptor Bill Mack.

Nominations for the Eleven Who Care award are submitted by community members throughout the year. The nomination form can be found online at The Eleven Who Care honorees are selected by the Eleven Who Care Board of Governors. Members of the 2011 Board of Governors are:

  • Brad Hewitt - President & CEO; Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
  • Bill Lentsch - Sr. Vice President, Minnesota Operations; Delta Air Lines, Inc.
  • John Remes - President & General Manager; KARE 11
  • Kristen Schurrer - Executive Director; Hands On Twin Cities
  • Michael Tattersfield - President & CEO; Caribou Coffee
  • Mandy Whiteside - Community Relations; KARE 11

Eleven Who Care is presented by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

Gannett Co., Inc. is a leading international news and information company that publishes 85 daily newspapers in the USA, including USA TODAY, the nation’s largest-selling daily newspaper. The company also owns nearly 900 non-daily publications in the USA and USA WEEKEND, a weekly newspaper magazine. Gannett subsidiary Newsquest is the United Kingdom’s second largest regional newspaper company. Newsquest publishes 17 daily paid-for titles, more than 200 weekly newspapers, magazines and trade publications, and a network of award-winning Web sites. Gannett also operates 23 television stations in the United States and is an Internet leader with sites sponsored by its TV stations and newspapers including, one of the most popular news sites on the Web.