New media campaign shines spotlight on people and projects of Becker County

The 13-week campaign kicked off this week and consists of live weekly radio shows, videos, podcasts, social media posts and occasional newspaper articles, covering a range of topics that relate to community health and well-being.

Becker County Energize Series.jpg
Becker County Energize has been involved in more than a dozen community health projects since it launched four years ago. Now, the initiative is shining a spotlight on the success of some of those projects with a 13-week media campaign. (Photo from the Becker County Energize Facebook page)

Becker County Energize has just launched a media campaign to highlight and celebrate the many local people who are working together to create a healthier community.

The 13-week campaign kicked off this week and will continue through Aug. 11. It consists of weekly live radio shows and videos shown on television and posted on Facebook. Occasional podcasts, public service announcements, social media promotions and newspaper articles in the Detroit Lakes Tribune are also included in the campaign.

Every week, a new group, organization or community project will be spotlighted, celebrating progress made wherever difficulties exist -- from child care access to opioid addiction. Next week, for example, the focus will be on the impact of the "Inside Out: A Step Inside Mental Illness" community awareness campaign. After that, the parenting support group, the FATHER Project, will get the spotlight. Other topics in the series include the HOME Project, CornerStone in Frazee, new walking trails in the area, and others.

To get things started this week, an overview of Becker County Energize introduces the campaign as well as the organization behind it. Launched by Essentia Health in 2016, Becker County Energize is a broad initiative to improve the health and quality of life of the people of Becker County.

“We’ve been operating over the last four years, BCE has, and in that time we’ve seen a ton of great work, just by coming together and collaborating as organizations,” said Karen Pifher, Becker County Energize coordinator.


She explained that the purpose of this campaign is, “to share the message about all the great work that is happening … To inspire people across the communities. To let them know that we are working together and we’ve made a lot of progress. And also to encourage people to get involved, to show them that they can make a difference in their community.”

No matter the topic covered, the storyline of the weekly radio shows and videos will always revolve around, “How are you creating health in your community?” Pifher said.

Groups or projects included in the series were chosen for their unique efforts and demonstrated success.

“I went through all the different projects that we’ve worked with over the last few years, and selected the ones that we’ve seen the most progress with, or greatest impact,” Pifher said.

“Because of the collaboration that we’ve had over the years, it made it really easy to find people willing to tell their stories,” she added. “More than 30 people are interviewed for this series.”

The campaign is funded by a grant from Serve MN.

With the country in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pifher said the time is ripe for a celebratory campaign like this one.

“Right now, I know … people are struggling. There are just a lot of unknowns and a lot of uneasiness,” she said. “So I encourage people to watch and be inspired about how we’ve been working together to make a difference. To be encouraged that, no matter what’s going on, there’s so much good happening around us.”


For more information on the campaign, visit the Becker County Energize Facebook page , or watch a video about the series at .

Learn more

  • Listen to live weekly shows on KDLM 93.1 FM with host Carol McCarthy and series guests, 9-9:15 a.m. Tuesdays through Aug. 11.

  • Watch the videos, broadcast weekly on TV3 and posted to the TV3 Facebook page, Becker County Energize website and Becker County Energize Facebook page

  • Listen for weekly Facebook Live episodes and podcasts via KDLM, and other announcements and promotions on KRCQ 102.3 FM and WAVE 104.1 FM

  • Watch for occasional Detroit Lakes Tribune newspaper articles related to the series, through Aug. 11

What’s on the docket, and when

May 5: Becker County Energize introductory video; interview with Karen Pifher

May 12: Inside Out: A Step Inside Mental Illness, community awareness campaign; interview with Erika Gilsdorf

May 19: The FATHER Project, ACES and Healing; interview with Joe Johnson

May 26: The HOPE Project; interview with Chelsey Pavlacky and Dave Erickson

June 2: Tobacco Policy; interview with Jason McCoy and Angie Moothart

June 9: Healthy Living: Water Stations, Walk to the Arts Trail, Born Learning Trail, Online Health Map, Heartland Trail; interview with Fran Rethwisch, Guy Fischer, Hank Ludtke and staff from the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center

June 16: CornerStone; interview with Ryan Stockstrom and Aleisa Jopp


June 23: Frazee Hearts for the Arts; interview with Leigh Nelson and Cally Nundahl

June 30: Child Care Access; interview with Kari Stattleman and Guy Fischer

July 7: Kinship Expansion; interview with Lakes Crisis and Resource Center staff

July 14: The HOME Project; interview with Guy Fischer and Carrie Johnston

July 21: Mental Health Education; interview with Scott Geiselhart and Hailey Jutz

July 28: Trauma Sensitive Schools and HOPE School Toolkit; interview with Lisa McLeod and Karen Pifher

Aug. 4: Volunteer Projects; interview with Rebecca Kent

Aug. 11: Rural Opioid Collaborative Project; interview with Julie Smith, Rebecca Kent and Shelly Petrik

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