Rosemount woman named an Outstanding Young MinnesotanTwins’ Michael Cuddyer is among the other award winners recognized by the Minnesota Jaycees
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
Kari Mitchell has a heart for helping people. In fact it’s become a huge part of her life. She plans an annual bike ride to raise money for breast cancer research, and in 2012 she will start a new event that will raise money and awareness for men’s cancers.
Mitchell doesn’t do it for recognition, but on Dec. 3, the Minnesota Jaycees will recognize the Rosemount woman as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans.
“It’s kind of embarrassing,” said Mitchell of the honor. “I keep asking, am I worthy?”
Obviously the Minnesota Jaycees think the answer is yes. The Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans program is Minnesota’s only statewide recognition program for outstanding young leaders. Also receiving the award are Jeffrey Bauer, Nicholas Banovetz, Michael Cuddyer, Megan Leafblad, Nekima Levy-Pounds, Savannah Leyde, Ross Monten, Ni Suphavong and Ryan Thomas.
Mitchell has planned fundraising events for various causes since 1998. In 2007 she founded Charity Events of Minnesota a non-profit dedicated to raising money to help disease-related causes by producing events.
Through that organization Mitchell and her teams of volunteers has produced the Hartford/ReMax Results Breast Cancer Ride. Starting in 2012 the organization will host the Atta Boy Ride on Father’s Day to raise money for men’s cancers.
According the Minnesota Jaycees, in the first three years of the Breast Cancer Ride, Mitchell has helped raise more than half a million dollars for their beneficiaries: Open Arms of Minnesota and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Minnesota affiliate.
Prior to that in her time with the Red Ribbon Ride, Mitchell helped raise $2.7 million for nine nonprofit beneficiaries.
Mitchell also dedicates personal time to serving her community as a member of the community services and planning commission for the city of Richfield and volunteers her time with organizations like Open Arms of Minnesota, Stoen Family, Dakota Woodland, Feed My Starving Children, Rosemount Family Resource Center and Special Olympics. She also volunteers with Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
Mitchell said she helps people because that’s the way she was raised and it’s what she feels God wants her to do.
At 37, Mitchell said she doesn’t feel all that young but added that it is a great honor to be recognized.
The award isn’t the only thing Mitchell has to be excited about. In December Mitchell will move her operation out of her home and into office space in the Waterford Common building downtown.
Mitchell said she hopes the move will make the organization more visible in the community.
On Dec. 18 Charity Events of Minnesota will host an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. The open house will include refreshments and a pink Santa.