by Sophia Khori
Mahli Wold was the first senior ambassador in the Elk River Ambassador program, and she has been presented with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Wold has been asked to represent Elk River in the Minneapolis Aquatennial, which takes place July 19-22.
Although Tails and Trails, Oak Wood Insurance Group and North Central Insurance have all sponsored Wold along the way, she still needs to raise $700 to represent Elk River among 53 other communities at Minneapolis’ Best Days of Summer.
When the ambassador program kicked off, Wold was among other girls ages 6-19 who live or attend school in Elk River to participate in its first 2016-2017 season.
“We provide personal and professional development training, encourage leadership in the community and surrounding area, through volunteering and fun activities,” program director Elizabeth Lies explained. She added that after candidates represent Elk River in several city festivals locally and across the state, “they are awarded a scholarship for college or community ed depending on their age.”
Wold explained that her reign was a dream come true, as she always admired the girls wearing crowns at parades she attended as a child. Through her reign, Wold said she learned being part of the royalty program was “so much more than crowns and gowns.”
Lies explained that she and co-director Angie Gerou designed a program where “during candidacy, the candidates participate in several local events in the city and attend training in public speaking, etiquette, self-defense and learn more about the city of Elk River.”
Wold said that volunteering at the Special Olympics allowed her to positively impact her community and make new lifelong friends.
“I made friendships that will last a lifetime, not just social media friendships, but friendships that are so meaningful to me. The memories that I made will never fade; it will always be one of the best years of my life,” Wold said.
Wold’s invitation to be involved in this month’s Aquatennial is the first one the Elk River ambassador program has received. Wold explained that she accepted the invitation with hopes of becoming an example for others.
“I want to pave the way for Elk River girls. I want to be a role model for girls that have the same dream I did growing up,” she said.
If you are interested in helping Mahli secure her spot in the Aquatennial, contact her by emailing [email protected]