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ACES Initiative wins local Touchstone Energy Community Award

Itasca-Mantrap has named the ACES Initiative as the winner of the 2018 local Touchstone Energy Community Award. In appreciation of its community service, the organization received an engraved plaque and a $500 check that will be used for its cause.

Lisa Coborn of Action Park Rapids describes the ACES Initiative. “The mission of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Initiative is to build awareness of trauma, its effects and how to overcome adversity in our communities and for the future wellness of Minnesota. Adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect and household dysfunction affect us all, and almost all of us have at least one ACE. ACES are common, but they can make it difficult for families to thrive and interact in a healthy manner; they can make it difficult for children to be successful in school and in social relationships; they can make it difficult for employers to find and retain employees. Most importantly, ACES can lead to lifelong health problems such as depression, obesity, diabetes, heart attack, cancer and more.

The good news is that ACES can be prevented as well as overcome. Awareness and education are the first steps for any community. From there, our communities can work together by linking services in agencies such as our hospitals, clinics, mental health facilities, area businesses, schools, police departments, social service agencies, etc. When we wrap the members of our community in resilience building practices, move away from making judgments and meet people where they are, we can

prevent and overcome ACES. 

Communities that have begun similar initiatives have had great success. They have seen their graduation rates increase, drop out and teen pregnancy rates decrease, incidents of violence in the community decrease, retention of qualified employees increase and more. 

The ACES Initiative is committed to making sure that our community is safe and welcoming for all who live here – most importantly, we are committed to our youth, who deserve to live happy and healthy lives and who can learn and grow without ACES.”

The ACES Initiative will host an ACES Summit in February that will bring together community agencies to learn from experts around the county who have implemented trauma-informed practices to affect the overall health of their communities. The project will help foster resilience for community members who have been affected by toxic stress and/or adverse childhood experiences.

Itasca-Mantrap sought candidates during the month of October for the Touchstone Energy Community Award, which recognizes organizations for outstanding contributions to the local community.

The ACES Initiative award application will be submitted for consideration in the statewide Minnesota Touchstone Energy Community Award. The statewide award recipient will be selected from award winners around Minnesota. The winning organization will receive $1,000 to go toward its community cause. The Minnesota Touchstone Energy Community Award will be presented to the award recipient in March during the Minnesota Rural Electric Association annual meeting in St. Paul.

The Touchstone Energy Community Award highlights the Cooperative Principle-Concern for Community.


Pictured l to r: Nikki Torkelson-Itasca-Mantrap, Joe Johnson, Angie Graham, Mark Andersen, Shelli Walsh, Kiah Staloch, Lisa Coborn, Pastor Justin Fenger, and Rosy Hjermstad.



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