We met Ted several years ago with our involvement in the Eden Prairie Lions Club, an organization whose motto is “We Serve.” Ted is originally from the East Coast and had a career that included being a baseball player. He and this publisher became fast friends with similar backgrounds. Ted serves as the Treasurer of the Eden Prairie Lions and also was one of the founding members of the Eden Prairie Chapter of Let’s Go Fishing. The EP Chapter is the largest LGF chapter in a multi Minnesota city charitable organization. For those of you not familiar with Let’s Go Fishing, this organization provides a day of fishing on Lake Riley for the elderly, those in nursing homes, veterans and children who might not have the joy of a day on the lake. Through Ted’s efforts, this incredible community asset had over 3400 folks who enjoy a great lake and fishing experience just last year. Thank you, Ted, for your efforts helping to create an organization that has given much joy to many over the years.
Bill Ballantyne moved to Eden Prairie in 1979. Bill is an active member of Grace Church and has helped teach 4th-grade boys and his wife Linda teaches 1st graders. Bill is an active member of the Eden Prairie Lions Club and has created significant strategic plans to assist the Lions organization to do more for the community. Bill is a master of analysis to assist in helping an organization grow. Bill has been heavily involved with Let’s Go Fishing from guiding fishing excursions to maintaining the two pontoon craft of the organization. There were not many days in the last several years that you could not find Bill on Lake Riley. If you know him, you would quickly see that he is as happy as the guests as he commits his efforts.
Bill’s additional community work includes being a mentor to two men Geoff and Dan helping guide them in their faith, helping them to lead their families and impact their workplace.
Bill shared a story standout story that embodies the spirit of Let’s Go Fishing. It is a hospice story one of many hospice trips done by Let’s Go Fishing. There were only five people on the boat that day, Steve Wilson, President of Let’s Go Fishing Eden Prairie and himself along with three guests. On this trip, Bill and Steve had the privilege to host three generations of Bill’s, his Father, Son, and Grandson. Sadly Bill’s dad passed that week. Fittingly, he gave us a lesson in fishing that day as he outfished us all. The smile of being able to share one last day on the lake with his boys says it all. Through Bill’s efforts and the rest of the Let’s Go Fishing team, stories like this have happened frequently over the years.
Gary Stevens is an example of total community commitment. To list all of Gary’s involvement and contributions to Eden Prairie organizations and causes would require many pages of this publication. Gary has been a member of the Eden Prairie Lions since 1999 and has a board member-secretary and President of the Lions in the 2000-2005 period. Gary has made contributions as a board member of the Eden Prairie Crime Prevention Fund, as a board director of the Eden Prairie Community Foundation, a board director and Vice Chair of Eden Prairie Meals on Wheels, he was a member of the Eden Prairie Education Community Education Advisory Council, and a member of the Eden Prairie Budget Committee Education Advisory Council. Those who have attended Schooner Days should know that Gary coordinates recruiting, organizing and implementing the operational plan for one of Eden Prairies major multi-day festivals each year.
Gary became a Master Angler for catching a 42” northern pike at Sake Lake in Ontario and has run in the Twin Cities Marathon, finishing under four hours in 1987 and also finishing in 1988. We think these Marathon finishes show us where Gary gets his energy for his community contributions. Gary also was asked by the Mayo Clinic to be part of a promotional video for their Champions program. He told us that he enjoyed getting to be an actor for a few hours. You can see the video at https://connect.mayoclinic.org/champions/why-become-champion/.
PG Narayanan grew up in the state of Kerala in Southern India. When he immigrated to the United States at the age of 18, he washed dishes in a restaurant to pay his way through the engineering program at Northeastern University in Boston. PG earn a Bachelors degree and Masters in engineering. In the years following PG went on to become an entrepreneur, technology industry CEO and community leader. Eden Prairie residents are lucky to have PG applying his skills and commitment currently as a member of our city government. He has served as Vice-Chair of the Eden Prairie Community Foundation. In 2010 PG served on a statewide basis as the President of the India Association of Minnesota. He has served on other boards like TPT Public Television, the Minnesota High Tech Association, and the ADC Foundation.
PG has had worldwide experiences during his business career giving him a first-hand look at many cultures. He brings the benefit of these experiences to understanding the multiple cultures and diversity in our community and how to serve the needs of many.
If you attend just about any city event in Eden Prairie, it’s a good bet that PG will be there. We know him well and can assure you he would welcome the opportunity to meet you.