Moorheart Hall of Fame

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The MoorHeart award is given to recognize Moorhead residents, businesses or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to our community. Here is a list of past winners.

Judd, Johnathan Mayor -- Headshot 2019

Johnathan Judd - February 2021

After Moorhead Mayor Johnathan Judd resigned on February 8, 2021, to accept a district judgeship, the MoorHeart committee awarded the first MoorHeart award to him for his work for the City of Moorhead. His nomination included: “Mayor Judd is an exemplary candidate for the first ever MoorHeart award. Fighting floods, a few blizzards and a global pandemic; standing with the community through difficult ongoing conversations around equity, unrest and justice; advocating for the city at state and national levels for infrastructure projects, flood mitigation and to level the playing field for businesses on the state border; and, at every opportunity and every level, lifting and encouraging city staff to carry out the important work of delivering essential services to the good people of Moorhead.”

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Moorhead = Fantastic - September 2021 

Moorhead = Fantastic is a Facebook group administered by Mara Morken and moderated by Chris Orth and Marsha Drewlow Wichmann. The group is interested in Moorhead-specific events, ideas/dreams/solutions for Moorhead’s communities, interesting articles relating to Moorhead, volunteer/donation opportunities, celebrations, etc. These guidelines have created a proactive, positive conversation about and for the Moorhead community. This group of moderators and their Facebook page has brought out the best in Moorhead; it’s not for show or promotion, it’s the best of public interaction. Contributions from projects like Moorhead=Fantastic help bridge gaps between the 45,000 living in Moorhead and ensure the City stays a place to be proud of.

Cani

Cani Aden - October 2021 

Cani works at the Afro-American Development Center but also volunteers in many capacities, including serving as Chairperson of the Moorhead Human Rights Commission. Cani is a wonderfully selfless person who has helped so many new residents find their footing and get settled safely in Moorhead. Cani was nominated by four separate individuals in Moorhead, including one especially moving nomination: “Cani changed the life of our family. He worked for 13 months to help find jobs for me and my wife. We used to depend on County benefits but not anymore and the reason is Cani. He spends countless hours assisting new Americans by providing translation help, resolving conflicts, facilitating the flow of important information, mentoring youth, and helping people secure jobs.”

Wayne Ingersoll

Wayne Ingersoll - November 2021 

Wayne spent the majority of his life serving the City of Moorhead and Clay County: long-time educator, Moorhead Mayor, Clay County Commissioner, City Planning Commissioner, Lake Agassiz Regional Library Board member, and A Place for Hope board of directors, just to name a few. Wayne’s nomination said: “Wayne has a way about him that makes everyone he meets feel welcomed and important. He always greets you with a smile and is curious to get a quick update on how you’re doing. The care and compassion Wayne demonstrates for the people he meets also translates to the City he lives in.” Wayne is known, loved, and respected by so many people in Moorhead; he really could be just called Mr. Moorhead!

Kim Jore for HoF

Kim Jore - January 2022

Kim Jore is a local artist and entrepreneur and the owner of Riverzen salon, gallery, and studio in Moorhead. Kim teaches art classes within the studio space and fosters those creative outlets for others in the community to really get in touch with their creative sides. During the pandemic she created wonderful chalk art drawings all over town to allow for everyone to remember to stay creative and explorative during some of those unprecedented times. Kim’s nomination included: “Kim was one of the first people to make Moorhead feel like home to me. Going to her salon with my kid to get our hair cut was the warmest welcome. My kid is neuro-diverse and, when they were younger, Kim would have an art project set up so they would be occupied while I got my hair cut. Kim’s gentle generosity exemplifies the heart of Moorhead.”

River Corridor and Trails

River Keepers of Fargo Moorhead - February 2022

The Red River of the North is a prominent natural feature in Fargo-Moorhead. There is no organization that advocates for the Red more or better than River Keepers. Under the leadership of Christine Holland—and with a passionate board and volunteer brigade--River Keepers provides education, interpretation, and stewardship as it relates to the river and its sustainability. River Keepers does remarkable work with a two-person staff, Christine and Kim Radebaugh. In fall 2021, River Keepers conducted a mass volunteer clean-up of Snakey Creek that removed over 10,000 pounds of trash. Besides the clean-up efforts, River Keepers assists the City of Moorhead with canoe and kayak rentals, hosts community workshops and special events, participates in the City Beautification program, and much more.

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Moorhead Business Association - March 2022 

Under the leadership of Sheri Larson — and with a dedicated board and strong support from volunteers — Moorhead Business Association (MBA) provides a helpful, caring and fun-loving support system for entrepreneurs and the surrounding community. MBA is always planning and getting the word out about how wonderful it is to be in Moorhead. From Frostival, parades, college Bridge Bash, Fourth of July fireworks and so much more, MBA involves businesses and invites the public to see what is happening in Moorhead. The MBA worked tirelessly during the pandemic to ensure Moorhead businesses were aware of available programs to keep their doors open. It also promoted restaurants that were offering curbside pickup so citizens could keep those restaurants operational.

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Eric Bailly & Amy Anderson - April 2022 

Eric Bailly and Amy Anderson purchased seeds and other materials and conducted research to build a demonstration pollinator garden at Daily Park. Because there is no water access at the park, they hauled water from their home several blocks away. They patiently handled setbacks and challenges, including a drought and a mishap when construction equipment was inadvertently dumped in the garden. They even found friends to “babysit” the garden when they were out of town. They posted updates and information about the garden throughout the growing season so others could learn about and celebrate the garden as it grew. As the growing season wound down, Eric and Amy volunteered to be part of a pollinator garden walking tour where they explained what they had done and shared information to help others start pollinator gardens. Eric’s and Amy’s advocacy and commitment encourages others to take pride in their neighborhoods.

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Lezlee Bertie & Amber Ferrie - May 2022 

Lezlee Bertie and Amber Ferrie were recognized for their joint effort and commitment in creating the M3 mental health program for Moorhead’s youth. The M3 Program was designed by Lezlee and Amber to help youth address mental health challenges. Moorhead is stronger because of the efforts of these two “Spud” moms who were moved to provide more resources for kids after the loss of student athlete Eli Johnson in 2017. While the entire community mourned, Lezlee and Amber took their grief and fear and redirected it to create a program that addressed the need for change and the spirit of openness in supporting Moorhead’s youth. They helped young people realize that no one should have to struggle alone. Their nomination included: “M3 offers support and hosts events throughout the year that bring focus to mental health. Lezlee and Amber created M3 so kids in our community know it’s OK to not be OK and that when it’s not OK, it’s important to talk to someone. Their shared passion for this community, shared love for not just their own kids, but other kids as well, and shared commitment to simply making this community a more mentally healthy place to live demonstrates why they should receive this award.”

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Destiny Holiday - June 2022 

Destiny was posthumously honored as the founder of “The Birthing of a Diamond” and “Diamond Kids” nonprofits, which empower and support single mothers and children from disadvantaged and underrepresented communities. The mission of Birthing of a Diamond is “To unmask and disarm the strongholds over the lives in Our Communities” and “Empower the lives of families, women and single women with children.” Diamond Kids branched out from Birthing of a Diamond in order to provide programs, activities and “stepping stones” that promote positive paths and better outcomes for “youth of color, African/Negro American, Indigenous youth and others.” Destiny also organized the first community celebration of Juneteenth in Moorhead in 2019. Moorhead is more united and resilient because of the efforts of Destiny “Grandmamma” Holiday, who was able to take the hardships she endured as a struggling black woman and create programs and community that strive to give others who struggled like her the resources and tools they need to succeed.

John Cunningham

John Cunningham - July 2022 

John (JC) Cunningham is a day-maker, plain and simple. While many people driving down 8 Street South may not know his name, they do know that they love seeing and waving to him and getting an enthusiastic smile and wave right back! John shows that you do not need to move heaven and earth to help impact community members in a positive way that will stay with them. We know this to be true as John was featured in a story written in the Forum in 2019, explaining how someone was so touched by John and his unwavering kindness that he bought an electric scooter to help John get around easier. This is just one example, but imagine how many lives have been touched by John’s positive attitude. His nomination included: “First, I will admit that I have never met John personally. I see John nearly every time I drive on South 8 Street. I wait in anticipation to see if he is outside and move to the right lane so I can be sure he sees me wave or honk. And then he waves back. And I smile. It’s that simple. No matter how bad my day, no matter what is on my mind, John makes me smile. Wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone in Moorhead decided to try to make all the people around them feel happier?”

Resilient

Resilient Moorhead - August 2022 

Resilient Moorhead ensures Moorhead is a place full of collaboration, trust, and commitment for the good of the community, a place where people care about and support each other. Resilient Moorhead is a nonprofit organization that strives to position Moorhead in such a way that our community is able to anticipate, adapt, and flourish in our ever-changing world. It arose out of the Moorhead Community Resilience Task Force, formed in 2019 at the initiative of Concordia College and through the efforts of Ken Foster and Tim Hiller. Its work has been funded by a Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant, administered by Concordia. Over the past several years, the stakeholders have collaborated to support a variety of projects, research, and community-wide initiatives, such as the Comprehensive Planning process. In 2022, Resilient Moorhead supported a process to promote equity and a project to plant pollinator-friendly urban prairies and “pocket prairies.” Its nomination said: “Resilient Moorhead’s link tree website is amazing in connecting all other important organizations, programs, and news and uniting them in one place where community members can come together and understand how they can become better involved and prepared with current happenings in our neck of Minnesota/the world. This allows the Moorhead community to be better connected in different mitigation and transition strategies.”

Brian Cole for HoF

Brian Cole - September 2022

Brian is the orchestra instructor for grades 5-8 at Horizon Middle in Moorhead who is also committed to finding ways to stay connected with residents of Moorhead past, present, and future. Brian encourages everyone in Moorhead to get involved with the community. He shared his community spirit in his feature participation in Moorhead’s “Where the Strong Belong” video in 2019, indicating, “I think when you have a strong community, you are going to have a sense of belonging.” His orchestra motto is “life lessons through music,’ and the five values he instills in his pupils are life, joy, peace, patience, and kindness. Each of these – the motto and values – help kids develop necessary life skills. He also facilitates the Moorhead Spud History Facebook page and provides research for the Spud History Book, a project that will commemorate the first 150 years of Moorhead Area Public Schools. “Spud Spirit” is in Brian’s DNA, and he uses those skills and talent to inspire Spud pride throughout the community.

Riders4 for HoF

FM Legion Riders - October 2022

The FM Legion Riders are committed to supporting local veterans and charities through community events and service. The FM Legion Riders encourage everyone to give back to their communities and to always support and take care of one another. The FM Legion Riders’ nomination includes the following statement: “The FM Legion Riders are an incredible mix of veterans and non-veterans that share an enthusiasm of motorcycles. They have a heart for the country and community. During Frostival they brought together hundreds of people to the Moorhead American Legion Post 21 to raise $35,000, collected over 1,000 pounds of food, a trailer full of clothing for the homeless, and 15 dog care packs for 4 Luv of Dog Rescue. In the last year they have escorted unclaimed vets, put together a free zoo day with a pizza party for the families of deployed soldiers, and participated in multiple events to honor veterans. They’ve donated funds to Veterans Honor Flight of ND/MN, CCRI, Culley’s Kids, Brady Oberg foundation, Churches United, PADS, and Young Life. This group is about connecting vets and bringing them the healing experience of serving in the community that they protect. They are Moorhead’s guardian angels.”