Owatonna's Youth 1st organization received a generous donation from the recent Pigskin & Pork fundraiser held by Cashwise Foods of Owatonna. Door prize drawing winners were also announced, topped by Patricia Velzke who won the grand prize which included a gas grill sponsored by Owatonna Motor Company.

The proceeds of nearly $2,000 will further the Youth 1st Team Awards program which, "recognizes positive behavior from players, coaches and everyone associated with teams (parents, fans and spectators)," as stated in the press release from the Owatonna-based non-profit group.

Founder and director of Youth 1st, Mark Arjes, said, "Cashwise is a great community partner and we appreciate all the support that Brian (Elwer, store director) and his staff give us each year through their BBQ rib fundraisers. One of the neat things that has come out of the fundraiser model is our lunch time delivery process." Arjes says a dozen or more businesses ordered meals. Members of the Steele County Blades junior hockey team assisted with serving and delivering orders.

Other door prize winners include Jerry Gold, Erin Benson, Roxanne Arndt, Matt Burt, TJ Packacek, Lynn Limberg and Angie Cisheros. Review the photo gallery to see their great prizes (and smiling faces).

Youth 1st works with many youth leagues and tournament officials around the state to create a positive atmosphere and support and reward good sportsmanship. Youth 1st's mission is "to connect Conduct, Character and Community to youth activity programs."

Teams that receive strong positive rankings earn plaques in addition to tickets to Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota State University-Mankato athletic events.