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Key Event a success

By   Erin Wood

The Community College Foundation is pleased to announce a final tally for the Key Event fundraising gala held October 24, 2014.  The event raised around $106,000 to support scholarships and special projects at the college.  The Foundation also raised another $27,000 with an Indian Motorcycle raffle that concluded during the Key Event.

The 1950s Happy Days-inspired Key Event was festive and bidding for auction items rockin’ by the 350 attendees. The evening featured a silent and live auction, raffles, and games. 

During the Key Event the Community College Foundation recognizes retiring board members and elects new members. Retiring from the board were Kelli Heilman, Chuck Jerome, Brianne Langton, Carol Leevers, Vangie Olson, Brett Travica, and Loydene Wakefield. Board members elected are Lexie Dion, Jill Hanson, Frank Mack, Kathy Miller, Darwin Peterson, Tony Prozinski, Brian Quam, Christy Remmick, Janet Westlind, and Mike Yoder.

Also recognized at the Key Event were Hall of Fame inductees Roger Mertens and Steve Brekke. The Hall of Fame was unveiled in June of 1991 as part of the college’s fiftieth anniversary celebration. Planners were seeking a way to publicly appreciate and recognize those who have invested their time and energy, talents, and resources in the college over the years. The Hall of Fame features pictures and biographical sketches of inductees as well as trophies and special recognition for campus organizations and outstanding students. This year, we are pleased to honor the following through induction into the LRSC Hall of Fame:

Roger Mertens
Roger Mertens has been a big supporter of Lake Region State College. Whether it’s helping promote the college through the radio waves, driving the LRSC Royals bus in parades, cheering on Royals athletes, or driving athletes to matches, Roger is there with a smile on his face. The Mertens family has a long history with Lake Region State College. His father John was a member of the first Lake Region State College men’s basketball team in 1950. 

Roger himself attended Lake Region State College and played basketball. He played under Coach Hugh Welsh from 1978-1980.  Presently, Roger is the 16th All-Time Leading Scorer in LRSC men’s basketball history. When he left LRSC he was the 3rd All-Time scorer behind Jim Bowen and Jim Clark.  Roger’s connection with Lake Region State College did not end when he graduated. Both of Roger and Robin’s sons, Danny and Jordan, attended Lake Region State College.

In addition to being a Royals athlete, Roger has served on the LRSC Booster Club since 1996 and serves on the Community College Foundation Board. He’s been bus driver for Royals athletics since 2006. 
He always has been the biggest cheerleader the teams have, said many former players. Roger also has served as an assistant coach under Terry Porter in 1996. He and his wife, Robin, have spent countless hours volunteering for any task the college or athletic department has requested. Together, they have helped support and create an athletic department with a solid reputation and tradition for talent and achievement on and off the court.

Steve Brekke
Steve Brekke played one year at Lake Region State College, but with just one year of play, he stands 23rd in all-time points with 824. His rebounding average was 14.5 per game and he ranks number 1 in total rebounds for a season as a sophomore with 450. Today, he is 2nd in all-time rebounds behind Travis Mertens. 

A native of Warren, Minn., Steve went on to play at the University of North Dakota. Brekke was a two-year starter for the UND men's basketball team at forward, leading the team in scoring as a senior and finished his brief career with 923 points after transferring from LRSC. He was a starter on the 1981-82 team that advanced to the NCAA Division II quarterfinals and a two-time All North Central Conference selections. Brekke later played professionally in Australia for two years and was a UND Hall of Fame inductee in 1997.

The Brekke basketball legacy continued when Steve’s daughter Samantha played for LRSC under Coach Duane Schwab. She was one of the players who guided the Lady Royals to a national tournament appearance in 2006. Steve’s short time at Lake Region was instrumental in showcasing the program to area players helping recruitment for the following year when the team went to the National Tournament. He has been a supporter of Lake Region State College Booster Club since 2006 and was a supporter in the establishment of the Hugh Welsh Scholarship for men’s basketball. 

Steve Brekke is an associate athletics director for development at UND. Brekke, a two-year letter winner and UND Athletics Hall of Famer, works with the UND Foundation and athletics department, raising funds for UND's athletics programs, scholarships and department needs. Brekke also served as interim co-athletics director during the 2007-08 season. He and his wife, Desilee, live in Grand Forks.

Each year, the Key Event raises money that the Community College Foundation uses to support the college’s scholarship program, athletic program, Paul Hoghaug Library, and other special projects. For more information on the Key Event or donating to Lake Region State College call (701) 662-1598.