Weather Forecast


Alexandria photographers shine in 'Creating a Better Tomorrow' contest

Jeff Roste's photo entitled "No Boundaries" earned a first place award in the professional category and the People's Choice Award.1 / 2
Stacy Kron's entry of a child playing with a parent earned an honorable mention award in the West Central Initiative photo/video contest.2 / 2

Alexandria residents made a strong showing in West Central Initiative's photo/video contest, "Creating a Better Tomorrow for West Central Minnesota," winning four of the top awards.

Each photo and video included an essay that describes how the entry illustrates creating a better tomorrow for our region.

Jeff Roste won the first place award in the professional photography category with "No Boundaries." The photo also garnered the People's Choice award, receiving 90 online votes.

Roste wrote in his essay: "Creating a Better Tomorrow isn't something that starts today. It's been happening for quite some time now. It is evident that generations, for years, have ignored, and in some cases, destroyed vast areas of our environment. But, they have also positively nurtured and grown the fragile ecosystem which allows us the enjoyment of hiking, biking, canoeing, and simply enjoying the outdoors of 'Greater Minnesota.' Several groups concerned about the future of west central Minnesota have spent countless hours and financial resources to help maintain and improve the land and waters we one day hope our children will enjoy. Our lakes, rivers and streams will continue to offer that enjoyment as long as the word 'CARE' remains as part of the equation."

Stacy Kron received an honorable mention in the professional photography category for her entry "Time Well Spent."

She wrote: "A better tomorrow starts today ... in how we raise our children. I believe that parents play such an important role in how our children view the world. This photo represents a father spending quality time with his daughter; teaching her the simple joy of how to blow bubbles. Sometimes we get caught up in the materialism all around us ... but kids just desire our undivided attention and love. When we encourage them to use their imagination and creativity, who knows what they will accomplish?!"

R. Scott Keehn won the first place amateur video award with his entry, "Creating a Better Tomorrow Means...."

He wrote in his essay: "Considering what creating a 'Better Tomorrow' meant to me, a number of things came to mind... Preserving and protecting our natural resources for generations to come is essential. Personally choosing to be involved in a cause (any cause) furthers ties to community. Choosing a spiritual path moves us to care about someone or something other than ourselves...Creating and maintaining family traditions strengthens the family for the future...Learning about other cultures builds our appreciation for diversity...and giving back by helping others builds a stronger sense of community as well. And finally I believe that learning to appreciate the many moments of God-given beauty, builds greater thankfulness for what we already have."

West Central Initiative is a public foundation serving Becker, Clay, Grant, Douglas, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin counties in west central Minnesota.

WCI provides programs and resources in the areas of business and employment, workers and their families, and communities and the region.

For more information about WCI programs or how you can be a partner/supporter of WCI, call 1-800-735-2239 or visit the WCI Web site at