May 5, 2023 at 9:35 a.m.

Throwing out the first pitch at Target Field

Throwing out the first pitch at Target Field
Throwing out the first pitch at Target Field

Thinking about the anti-bullying theme for this year's D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) poster contest, Stewartville Middle School sixth grader Ava Helgerson-Beyer came up with a novel idea.
Bullying is far less likely to happen, she thought, when everyone feels like they belong, when everyone is valued.
"I thought of people always trying to fit in, and some people don't fit in," she said. "So I put all the puzzle pieces together, and they all fit in."
Ava enjoyed her D.A.R.E. class, held as part of Dawn Miller's health and wellness class at the Middle School each Wednesday. Olmsted County Deputy Courtney Amos, the D.A.R.E. teacher, is very kind, she said.
"I think (D.A.R.E.) is really good," Ava said. "It teaches you a lot of things. It teaches you how to get out of bad situations, and how to say no if someone asks you to take drugs."
Ava was completely taken by surprise when she learned her D.A.R.E. poster won first place in the statewide contest. In fact, when her parents, Brent Beyer and Erin Helgerson, told her the news, she thought they were joking.
"I wasn't expecting it," she said. "I was just making a poster for this D.A.R.E. thing. I was happy and excited."
Imagine Ava's excitement, then, when she learned that as a reward for drawing the top poster in the state, she would throw out the first pitch before the Minnesota Twins beat the Kansas City Royals, 8-4, at Target Field in Minneapolis on Sunday, April 30...
For more on this story pick up your copy of the May 9 Stewartville STAR.

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