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Fun and fitness for all: MN Flyers Gymnastics to celebrate 20 years in DL with July 20 fundraiser

Young gymnast Tatum Gatheridge gets a little help on the parallel bars from MFG staff member Chrisandra Sorum. (Submitted photo)1 / 3
The coaches, staff and aspiring gymnasts at Minnesota Flyers Gymnasium develop close friendships. (Submitted photo)2 / 3
MFG gymnasts work their way through a stretching exercise. (Submitted photo)3 / 3

It's been 20 years since the Minnesota Flyers Gymnastics program was first established in Detroit Lakes, and its staff, volunteers and gymnasts are inviting the public to help them celebrate with a hog roast fundraiser this Thursday, July 20 at Detroit Mountain Recreation Area.

Titled "A Night for the Stars," the evening celebration will feature not only the above-mentioned hog roast — courtesy of Lush Lola's — but also live and silent auctions, a live band performing, and to top it all off, desserts by Creamy Creations.

"It's just going to be a really fun atmosphere," says Minnesota Flyers Executive Director Kari Stattelman. "You can come and relax, enjoy the night, listen to some live music and help the kids in our community to become healthier (both mentally and physically)."

The hog roast will start off the evening's festivities at 6:30 p.m., followed by live music from Fargo-Moorhead band "The Bizness" and both live and silent auctions featuring such goodies as a VIP camping and music package for WE Fest 2017, a vacation getaway to Cabo San Lucas, a coffee table from The Woodshop (created by Kari's husband, Joe Stattleman) and much more.

Proceeds from the event will go to support Minnesota Flyers programming, which includes recreational classes, training and competitive teams, Fly Time (for kids with special needs), and even some personal training for adults, courtesy of Fly Time coach Mark Gloege.

"During the school year, we have over 500 kids in here every week," said Stattelman. "That number is closer to 300 in the summer, but we are a busy place all year round.

"We just want to continue to grow and fill up our gym every day of the week, to give even more kids the opportunity to experience gymnastics and (improved) fitness," she added. "We're looking at piloting a program for infants this fall, and we've started to offer Fly Time to adults at the DAC (aka the Becker County Developmental Achievement Center, which serves adults with mental and physical challenges)."

The Fly Time program is also expanding beyond the borders of the Detroit Lakes School District, she added: Both Frazee-Vergas and Lake Park-Audubon have plans to add the program — possibly as early as this fall — and Waubun-Ogema-White Earth is looking into it as well.

The high school's varsity and junior varsity teams also use the Flyers gym for practices, Stattelman said. "A lot of them got their start with our rec and team programming," she added.

Those programs got a boost this summer with the addition of a new head coach, Kayla Rauchwarter, who is a recent graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead.

By expanding its programming, MFG has also increased its need for support from the community, Stattelman noted — which is where this Thursday's fundraiser enters the picture.

Tickets for the event are $40 each, and can be obtained at the MFG facilities on Rossman Avenue (between Freeman Arena and the Becker County Food Pantry) or from any parent of a Flyers team gymnast.

For more information about MFG programs, as well as their upcoming fundraiser, please visit the website at or call 218-847-3637.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454