Edina honors volunteers who make our community great.
Since 2008, the Edina Community Foundation’s Connecting with Kids Leadership Breakfast has shined a spotlight on the efforts of local volunteers and their impact in the Edina community. In April 2021, eight honorees were celebrated for their work.
“Every once in a while, you’ll get a nomination where it’s just like, ‘Oh, my gosh, why haven’t we honored this person in the past?’ And I kind of thought that, especially for Shane,” says Patty Dronen, director of the Connecting with Kids program, about 2021 honoree Shane Stumm.
Stumm, an Edina resident for the past 20+ years, has dedicated half of that time to volunteering with the Edina Soccer Association, which is the largest sports association in the community with an incredible 3,500 kids in K–12 participating yearly. Stumm was nominated by Krista Johnson, an administrator for the association.
“Stumm, as she explained it, literally did everything,” Dronen says. From coach to committee member, vice president to president, Stumm oversaw a lot of the programming and used that time to develop a popular tournament as well as a scholarship grant for Edina student-athletes.
“Everything he touched kind of seemed to turn to gold for the soccer association and really helped growth,” Dronen says. “It’s always been a big program but just really made it special for kids. And for us to give him an award, I just thought it was so natural.”
“I felt super humbled and obviously super excited about becoming a nominee for this award,” Stumm says. “When you volunteer for this type of thing, you don’t expect to be recognized. You just kind of do it because that’s what you do.”
Stumm first started volunteering with the soccer association when his wife signed him up as a coach. “I started talking to people and recognized pretty quickly that the core values of the association aligned with my own personal beliefs,” Stumm says. “I decided that I wanted to put my volunteer time and efforts into that organization; that’s kind of what spurred it all.”
Another community member, who received recognition from Connecting with Kids this year, was Maggie Seidel, an Edina resident and senior at The Blake School, who was honored as a student leader. “Maggie was nominated by a woman that works at the Minneapolis Crisis Nursery,” Dronen says.
Along with volunteering at the clinic since her freshman year, Maggie created a student advisory board for the nursery. At meetings for Blake’s community service board, which Maggie had been a member of since freshman year as well, she noticed students often expressed interest in the nursery.
“There was not an easily accessible route through which students could volunteer and support the organization,” Maggie says. As a result, she contacted staff members she knew through volunteering to pitch her idea of a student advisory board.
“My idea was to establish a more formal and regular connection between high school students and the nursery through volunteer engagement, planning and fundraising,” Maggie says. With the Blake student advisory board already boasting 40 student members and two more student boards at Visitation School and Edina High School, Maggie says she hopes to expand to even more schools as well.
“She just has a way about her,” Dronen says about Maggie. “She’s so smart; she’s so eloquent. I could just see that anything she got involved with would be for the better because she would just bring so much energy
and smarts to everything she did.”
After a year enduring pandemic restrictions, Maggie says the leadership breakfast itself was a wonderful experience. “It was nice to be able to see faces again,” she says. “I was just so struck and inspired by the people I was surrounded by, and by the other recipients and hearing their stories.”
Do you know someone in Edina who deserves recognition? Send nominations to email@example.com.