Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Bench honors area resident's legacy

Elaine White spent her life helping meet the needs of others. On Thursday, her legacy was remembered in a small ceremony at Moorhead's Gooseberry Park, where a playground stands as a tangible reminder of White's hard work. White died last year at...

20041022whitedo1.jpg

Elaine White spent her life helping meet the needs of others.

On Thursday, her legacy was remembered in a small ceremony at Moorhead's Gooseberry Park, where a playground stands as a tangible reminder of White's hard work.

White died last year at the age of 65.

Soroptimist International of Moorhead, one of many groups that benefited from White's tireless energy, dedicated a bench in her memory.

The memorial sits next to the "Funland" playground that was built in the late 1970s and early 1980s, largely due to White's fund-raising prowess, said Mary Davies, a Soroptimist member.

ADVERTISEMENT

"You couldn't say 'no' to her," Davies said of White.

The playground, designed to serve children with disabilities, cost more than $80,000 when it was built.

In recent years, the playground was upgraded with more than $138,000 worth of improvements.

White was responsible for raising most of the money, said Monica Douglas, a Soroptimist member and director of the senior nutrition program of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, a job Douglas inherited from White, who held the post for more than 20 years.

"She was a mentor to me," Douglas said, describing her former boss as someone who was full of energy and extremely organized.

"She was always on the go, such a planner and thinker and very good at delegating and recruiting people to get things done," Douglas said.

Another Soroptimist, Ruth Korsmo, said White recruited her to join the group, which focuses on promoting opportunities for women and girls.

Korsmo said White was skilled at motivating others to pitch in.

ADVERTISEMENT

So much so that she made you feel this was the greatest thing, and you almost volunteered without being asked, Korsmo said. "She didn't even have to ask because she made it so appealing you wanted to help out. That was her gift."

Despite a cool mist, about 20 people -- family and colleagues of White's -- gathered for Thursday's ceremony.

Soroptimist Dorothy Agather described White as a visionary who enjoyed life to the fullest and gave her all to causes she embraced

"Elaine loved to organize projects that sometimes to us seemed far beyond reach," Agather said.

"She worked tirelessly on whatever she decided to take on. I don't know about the rest of you, but I miss the e-mails we used to get."

White's husband, Dale, said the ceremony was fitting.

"It means a lot because the (Soroptimist) club meant so much to her," he said.

"It's a nice bench and a nice thought," he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
What To Read Next
Nonprofit hospitals are required to provide free or discounted care, also known as charity care; yet eligibility and application requirements vary across hospitals. Could you qualify? We found out.
Columnist Carol Bradley Bursack explains the differences between Alzheimer's, dementia and other common forms of dementia.
While the United States government gave help to businesses and people, a lack of assistance has left some Chinese citizens angry and destitute.
Having these procedures available closer to home will make a big difference for many in the region.