Sep 10

Youth Scholarship Program

Posted on September 10, 2020 at 1:41 PM by Jessica Abrahams

Author: Dan Gorman, Youth Scholarship Board Member

Greetings readers, I want to thank the Parks and Recreation Department for giving me this opportunity to tell you all about our Committee and to seek your support and help for over 700 kids in the Community.  I want to speak about the Youth Activity Scholarship Fund, an independent part of the Owatonna Park and Recreation Department. The Fund was set up 22 years ago by some very concerned and caring people who saw a need to help some youngsters participate in all that the Park & Rec offers.  The fund would solicit money, so that if a needy child, age 4yrs to 14 yrs, or a participant in the therapeutic recreation program, who couldn't afford the fee to participate in any activity, let's say T-ball or soccer or any of the  20 activities offered by Park & Rec, it would step in and pay some of the fee so the child would only have to pay a portion and then take part in the activity.  This is all done through a confidential application process. After all that's all kids want to do, is play.

These forward-thinking people formed a Committee to grow this fund, year after year, with donated dollars for the youth who needed assistance.  The fund is currently in its 22nd year and last year (2019), it handled over 700 applications from youth who needed help on fees.  
While we are talking about 2019, I want to tell you that the total dollars the Committee raised was about $20,000 dollars. It takes approximately that much to handle the need nowadays. 

How does the Committee raise this kind of money?  First of all, the Committee, consisting of 4 community members, and 2 P&R Board members is all volunteer. Caring, leading and giving individuals who give of their time and energy to help the kids. There is no taxpayer money given to the Fund. It is all donations from many sources.  As you can imagine raising and spending that kind of dollar amount each year is a challenge. We do have some very generous donors each year that help as they can. We also have fundraisers making a few dollars here and there. A couple of our biggest and most generous are the Mike Hansen Washerboard Tourney held annually and Corky's Early Bird softball tourney. However, this year the softball tourney was cancelled and the Hansen Tourney is held in the Spring so it's fate is still in question for 2021, so our funds received from them will be greatly reduced. We have had some other events where we have picked up a few dollars here and there.  Another source of income we receive occasionally is from  Employee Club groups, Corporations, some of the Clubs and Associations gambling funds, Organizations and Small businesses. They all care about the kids and want to help.  We occasionally get Memorials honoring someone who has passed away and Honorariums recognizing someone for being or doing something wonderful. Thank You.

We have had donations as small as $5, up to $5,000. We get many donations from individuals, just like you and me, who may have a giving spirit and can spare some money to pass along to help the kids this Fall/Winter and next year when activities begin to return to a somewhat normal routine.  The Youth Activity Scholarship Fund is asking for your help now and in the future. Can we count on you, your group, your business, your kind heart?  I hope so, but more importantly the Kids hope so.

Thank you for listening and hearing our story and for any way you can help us out. Stay Safe and Healthy.  Bless you all. 


Owatonna Park and Rec Youth Activity Scholarship Committee Members:

  • Sue Schroeder
  • Linda Coleman
  • Sean Hughes
  • Dan Gorman
  • Angie Malo
  • Greg Posch
  • Tim Truelson
  • Nikki Callahan


To help the KIDS please send or call a donation into the Park & Rec office:


Park & Recreation Department

%Youth Activity Scholarship Fund

540 West Hills Circle

Owatonna, MN 55060

(checks made payable to Youth Activity Scholarship Fund)  We are a registered 501 c3 entity.

If you prefer to help and donate via a credit/debit card please call the Parks and Recreation Office at 507-444-4321.



Sep 03

Fall Programs

Posted on September 3, 2020 at 12:19 PM by Jessica Abrahams

Author: Tim Truelson, Recreation Manager

The last time I wrote this article, I was happy to pass along that we were able to hold many programs that we usually do during the summer.  Due to safety and sanitation measure put into place that follow the federal, state and CDC guideline these programs probably did not look like many of the programs in the past. Safety plans were written up for all individual programs, staff trained on these plans, safety and cleaning supplies distributed, and pods established for many programs.  This did often affect the program structure, deliverables, and other aspects of the summer programs.  Well the time of change will continue this fall as well.  Youth football will be offered, but we will be playing flag football with no equipment.  Youth volleyball will be outside and be concentrating on skills and drills.  There are some changes in adult programs as well, but at least we can offer something!!!

Adult Recreation

Adult fall kickball and softball registration has been open for some time, if you would like to still get a team in let us know.  Fall kickball season will start the week of September 14 and fall softball season will start the week of September 21. 

Youth Recreation

Fall Recreation registration began on August 20th. We will be offering a volleyball and football program. We are excited to have the varsity staff and players for football and volleyball helping with the coaching of the programs this year. We are planning on still trying to hold a more traditional youth fall sports for volleyball and football in the spring 2021, if guidelines allow us to at that time.  For Learn to skate hockey/U6/U8, we will be making a final decision on Fall/Winter Session 1 by October 1 and will communicate plan at that time and when registration would begin.  Not available for registration currently. Below you will find information for these programs.

Youth Volleyball

We will be offering a new volleyball for grades 1 & 2. Each week the participants will focus on different volleyball skills.  The sessions are from 8:45 am to 10 am at Brown Park on September 19, 26, October 3, 10.

3rd thru 6th grade volleyball is a fun introduction to volleyball by learning the skills of volleyball with a practice/scrimmage once a week for four weeks.  3/4 grades are from 10:20 am to 11:35 am and 5/6 grades are at 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm at Brown Park on September 19, 26, October 3, 10. 

Youth Football

Youth 1st & 2nd Mini Husky Football is back.  This program focuses each week on different football skills followed by games such as flicker ball, interception, and many others.  No football equipment required.  T-shirt included with fee.  A couple changes this year include participants being split in pods of ten prior to the start of the program and offering two sessions with a max of 50 per session from 9 am to 10:15 am or 10:40 am to 11:55 am at OHS Practice Football Field on September 12,19,26, and October 3.

 3rd and 4th grade Mighty Huskies Flag Football is a fun introduction to football.  Learn the skills of football with a practice/flag football scrimmage twice a week on Monday and Wednesday from 5:30 pm to 7 pm.  No football equipment required.  Mouth guard required and cleats are optional.  Flags will be provided.  Teams will be separate 3rd and 4th grade teams.  Teams will be put in pods of 24 with 2 coaches. This will start the week of September 14 thru week of October 5.

 5th and 6th grade Junior Huskies Flag Football is a fun advanced skill/drills of football.  Learn the skills of football with a practice/flag football scrimmage on Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 pm to 7 pm.  No football equipment required.  Mouth guard required and cleats are optional.  Flags will be provided.  Teams will be put in pods of 24 with 2 coaches.  Starts week of September 14 thru week of October 5.  We are planning on still trying to hold a more traditional youth fall sports for volleyball and football in the spring 2021, if guidelines allow us to at that time.  For Learn to skate hockey/U6/U8, we will be making a final decision on Fall/Winter Session 1 by October 1 and will communicate plan at that time and when registration would begin.  Not available for registration currently.

As we continue to offer programs these are with safety and health precautions put in place.  If you would like more information on these additional precautions to the program, due to COVID-19, you can go to our website and click on the particular program that you are interested in and there will be a detailed safety plan about the program.  You also receive an email about the programs safety plan once you register for the program.

Other Park and Rec Activities

The popular park passport program is back this fall.  The park passport program is an initiative of the Owatonna Park and Recreation to promote healthy lifestyle choices.  The program encourages families and individuals to explore our parks and trails and exercise by walking the mapped trails.  The four-week program from September 23 to October 21 is free.  Get started by printing your passport off our park and recreation website www.ci.owatonna.mn.us/parksrecreation .  Then visit the parks listed and look for the reflective yellow or white signs.  Once you find the sign check the back for the word on the back and record it on your passport in the appropriate box to revel the message.  Turn your completed passport in by October 26 to qualify for a random drawing for prizes.  Please continue to stay safe and healthy this fall season!




Aug 27

Brooktree Golf Course Update

Posted on August 27, 2020 at 1:40 PM by Jessica Abrahams

Author: Tom Vizina, Brooktree Golf Course

Labor Day is just around the corner, signaling were heading into fall.  Amazing how fast the summers go by.  However, there is still a lot of golf left.  The golf course is in excellent condition.  With that being said, we will start our fall maintenance by aerating the greens on Aug. 24-25.  We are doing this maintenance a couple of weeks early to accommodate the tournaments that had to move into September. 

Brooktree has a busy fall schedule of events.  We have two big cup events on the weekend of Aug. 29-30.  The Aug. 29th event is a 2-person 6-6-6 tournament.  The flyer is on the website at brooktreegolfcourse.com.  The American Cancer Society is hosting a 4-person “Relay for Life” Big Cup tournament on Aug. 30th.  There are limited spots available.  Call the Kyrstal Clemens at 507-456-3917 to reserve a spot.  In September, Brooktree will be hosting the Dudley Otto Golf Classic on Sept. 19 and the Ken Bey Football Golf Classic on Sept. 26.  More information will be forth coming on these events.  These events are a great opportunity to support worthy causes in our community.  

Golf is a great activity during these challenging times.  A few things we are doing to keep everyone safe is to sanitize the carts after every use, requiring masks in the clubhouse and on the patio, and following all the Minnesota Health Department guidelines as they pertain to the clubhouse and food operations.  Our goal is to make it a safe environment for the golfers and the staff. 

We want to congratulate our 2020 Club Champions.  The men’s club champion was Dave Johnson.  The women’s club champion was Karin Steffenson.  The senior club champion was Mike Ehlert.  Congratulations to our winners and all who played in the club championship.

Fall rates will begin the week after labor day.  You can keep abreast of any updates by going to our website: brooktreegolfcourse.com.  Fall is a great and affordable time to play golf.  There is plenty of time to play a few rounds before the snow flies.