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Families Forever scholarship awarded

Emma Ulmer, center, was awarded the Families Forever scholarship. Members of the committee included Joanie Schiffner, left, and Kathy Lindstrom, right. Submitted Photo

Emma Ulmer is the winner of the 2013 Families Forever Scholarship, winning a $1,500 scholarship given in memory of Mary Disse Ballard.

The scholarship is made possible through donations and the annual Garden Quilt Show and Tea held every August at Peggy and Ed Stellmach's residence in Lake Park. The couple's yard boasts a variety of plants, flowers and unique garden décor not found in most yards.

They have spent the last eight years perfecting the beautiful landscape and each year change things up slightly to keep people coming back to see what's new in "the garden."

The Families Forever Scholarship is given to two area young women, one to a Lake Park Audubon High School senior and the second to a contestant competing in the Miss Northwest pageant.

Emma attends LP-A and will graduate this May after which she will pursue her degree in athletic training, a minor in coaching, and a doctorate in pediatric physical therapy. Emma says she chose this profession because she has always been interested in the medical field.

"For years I thought I would be a nurse. After having a shoulder injury, I got a closer look at what athletic trainers and physical therapists do and realized this is where my calling is. Specializing in pediatrics is a result of my love of working with children and also, my cousin, Clare, who has Down's syndrome. Clare works closely with a physical therapist and I can see myself doing this job and loving it."

The annual Families Forever fundraiser has awarded $8,500 to young women since its first event held in 2006, just five months after Mary died from stomach cancer. The scholarship winners are selected by a panel of community members who conduct private interviews with each young woman who submits an essay about the importance of family and community.

Last year's top quilter's prizes of $100 were donated by the Bay Window Quilt Shop in Perham and Red Pine Quilt Shop in Detroit Lakes. Thank you for your generosity.

This year, the family added another fundraiser, the annual Turkey Day 5k held Thanksgiving morning also in Lake Park. Mark your calendars for this year's events -- Aug. 17, Garden Quilt Show and Tea, and Nov. 28, Turkey Day 5k.

For more information, visit them on Facebook or at their website