by Joni Astrup
Gov. Mark Dayton will visit Elk River in August.
He will be in downtown Elk River Thursday, Aug. 23, for the official Beyond the Yellow Ribbon certification. The certification will be held prior to the 7 p.m. Riverfront Concert Series at the River’s Edge Commons Park.
“Gov. Dayton will be in attendance as the main speaker,” said Elk River Mayor John Dietz.
The local Yellow Ribbon steering committee will meet soon to put together the program for the event, he said.
“It will be exciting to have the governor in town and equally as exciting to see Elk River officially proclaimed a Yellow Ribbon city,” Dietz said.
Don Heinzman, chair of the local Yellow Ribbon steering committee, and the steering committee have put it a lot of time to make this become a reality, the mayor said.
“Becoming a Yellow Ribbon City says a lot of good things about the city of Elk River,” he added.
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is an effort to reach out to soldiers and their families dealing with deployment. It is a comprehensive program that creates awareness for the purpose of connecting service members and their families with community support, training, services and resources.
In one example locally, the wife of a deployed soldier in Otsego got her broken water heater fixed by a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon volunteer.
There are at least 186 National Guard personnel living in the immediate Elk River area, along with other members of the military services.
Those needing assistance are asked to call The Family Assistance Center in St. Cloud and they will put military families in contact with the local outreach program. The number is 320-255-2454. Those who want to volunteer services should call Kayla Stai at 763-367-7013.