MHS venue to celebrate new name
Stan Braksick had some advice for Donnie Edmonds when he moved to McLouth some 30 years ago.
"I always needed to remember that the community will be good to me, but I also need to be good to the community," Edmonds recalled one of the first conversations he had with the longtime banker. "What you receive you always have to give back.
"And that pretty much panned out."
Edmonds, who owns McLouth Oil, said Braksick, who died last February at the age of 81, was very generous when it came to the community and the school district. Braksick purchased the Bank of McLouth in 1961, where he served as chairman. His family continues to operate the bank.
"I've worked with Stan in the Kiwanis Club for years," Edmonds said. "And I know he contributed a lot financially. And he never wanted people to know that."
Edmonds, wants to make sure people understand what he meant to that community. Edmonds, who is a McLouth school board member, last spring called for the Bulldog Sports Complex to be renamed the Stan Braksick Sports Complex. His fellow board members agreed with the motion.
On Friday, a permanent reminder of Braksick's contributions will be displayed at the stadium. On the backside of the stadium's scoreboard, a sign will read "Stan Braksick Sports Complex."
Superintendent Jean Rush said there would be a tailgate party in Braksick's honor Friday before the McLouth-Wathena football game. The school district plans a ceremony at halftime honoring him as well.
Rush said Braksick's family members have been invited to speak during the ceremony.
"He was always very supportive of the school district and the programs," Rush said. "He was particularly interested in the sports and has just been a huge supporter of that.
"And we're very appreciative of the many ways Stan and the Bank of McLouth have contributed to the programs we provide to the children of our community."
In recent years, the McLouth High football program has experienced a turnaround in fortunes, going from 0-9 in 2003 to 10-1 last fall.
MHS coach Harry Hester said Braksick helped finance new football jerseys for the squad during that time and agreed with Edmonds that Braksick was "behind the scenes and didn't want a lot of attention brought to him."
"I think that's really helped change the image of our football program," Hester said. "It means a lot to our success right now."
Of course, Braksick also was instrumental in helping other aspects of the community, such as through scholarships for graduating seniors.
"Not just for our school, but for our community and the people, he's been a tremendous influence," Rush said. "He has dedicated his life to McLouth, his resources. He just did an awful lot for us, especially our school district."