Scores of people have served the Hopkins Raspberry Festival over it’s long history, and that spirit of service continues today. Over the years, certain individuals have left an indelible mark on the Raspberry Festival, and a few of those special people are noted here.
Laun E. Anderson
A Hopkins Police Officer with a big heart describes Laun Anderson. Every year, hundreds of children descend upon the shores of Shady Oak Lake to enjoy Laun’s “signature” Raspberry Festival event, the annual Kid’s Fishing Contest. Since its inception, Laun worked tirelessly to ensure that the kids had all of the supplies that were needed for a great morning of fishing. And, they did not go home hungry — the morning ended after lunch was served! This fun morning is successful, in large part, because of the relationships that Laun forged over the years with service organizations, retailers, and, of course, bait shops. Full of life himself, Laun was a very giving man and introducing children to the wonderful world of fishing was just one of his gifts!
The many volunteers at the Raspberry Festival whose lives she touched, enjoyed Dee Lumley! Few events of the Raspberry Festival were untouched by her dedication and sense of humor. She especially treasured the relationships that she had with the Royalty Candidates and the Raspberry Royalty; watching them mature as young women gave her pleasure. Ensuring the Festival’s place in Hopkins’ history was important to Dee as she worked with the Hopkins Historical Society to provide Festival memorabilia. On the other end of the spectrum, Dee enjoyed sports and was instrumental in making a Twins baseball game a festival event. This event is now known as “The Dee Lumley Raspberry Night at the Ballpark”. Dee was a treasure who will not be forgotten.
The Hopkins Raspberry Festival was blessed for a brief time to work with a new, committed volunteer, Jan Phillips. Jan planned and executed a beautiful Royalty Coronation and Royal Ball in 1994. Sadly, that fall, she passed away and the festival was left with only great memories of her drive and sparkling personality. Through her family, Jan’s memory lives! Because of her love for the Raspberry Festival, in 1995 three formal crowns were presented to the Festival to be used by the Queen and Princesses and be passed each year. They have been in continual service since, and a “passing the crowns” ceremony takes place after every Royalty Coronation. Jan was lost far too soon, but fortunately, her spirit endures!
The proud father of Queen Shannon Unze, Lee arrived at the float garage with an infectious smile and jovial personality, ready for another trip on the parade circuit. He was a talented woodworker and great “Mr. Fix-It” for those occasional problems with the Raspberry Royalty float that occur when the Royal Family is visiting another community. When it came time to incorporate the Senior Royalty into the float’s “Day at the Park” theme, Lee built a park bench for them to sit. He also built the Junior Royalty Coronation set pieces that were in use for over 10 years. Lee’s presence is sorely missed.
Always and Forever, Kristi will be our 1996-1997 Hopkins Raspberry Festival Queen. Kristi represented her community as a true Queen does and will always remain in our hearts. She was taken from us much too early, but showed us how to be brave and how to love the world with all her heart. Her smile touched all the she came in contact with, even as her battle with cancer brought her days that weren’t always easy to smile about. Kristi may be gone, but every Queen forward that has the honor to wear the crown that she wore can feel her spirit live on.