By David K. Williams
One of the signature programs of the Menomonie Optimist Club is naming and honoring Youth of the Month from all four high schools in Dunn County. May was a busy month, as the Optimists honored four youth—two from Colfax High School and two from Menomonie, covering both April and May. Menomonie honorees were Mariyah Creaser and Kellan Aure.
Mariyah Creaser, daughter of Joe and Jenna Creaser, has been active in many Menomonie High School organizations. She is on the Link Crew, a member of Future Business Leaders of America, Future Farmers of America, the National Honor Society and her 4-H Club. Focusing heavily on her interests in the sciences, Mariyah plans to attend UW-River Falls in their Pre-Veterinary program, looking to become a large animal veterinarian. She currently works at Hoof and Paw Clinic to gain experience in that area. Mariyah also works at Seasons Harvest Greenhouse, and nannies two girls in the summer.
Kellan Aure is the son of Stephanie Aure and the late Aaron Aure and will graduate from Menomonie High School this spring. Kellan has been an outstanding athlete, especially in the wrestling program, where he has been a two-time state finalist and state champion. He has been named an all-conference track athlete ten times in his career and has the record for the fasted 400-meter dash in school history. In addition to his athletic talent, Kellan has been a leader as captain of a number of these teams. Kellan plans to attend Central Michigan University on a Division I wrestling scholarship. While there, he plans to major in the finance, marketing and real estate areas as a career focus.
In addition to the Youth of the Month program, Menomonie Optimists have worked on Hoffman Hills projects for almost 40 years, provide dictionaries to every third grader in Dunn County, and will host the August 19 Menomin Meander family-friendly bike ride around Lake Menomin.