Is it the proximity of houses or buildings to each other? Is it a certain number of residents living a specific distance from each other?
Or is it the way in which citizens
work together, play together and volunteer together
to benefit all of its members?
The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon South of the River chapter started as a military support ministry at St. Michael Church in Prior Lake, MN. Led by John Hamre and his wife, Mary, they had a group of family members with children serving our country. The monthly group meeting included Deacon Dick Roy, Liz Speiker, Laura Revisto, Laura Schupe and Pete Brown (The Original 7). They had a desire to grow into a support network for all service members in Scott County. Their plan to host a town hall meeting by inviting the community was met with overwhelming success. This first community wide informational meeting took place in May 2010 in the Arch Angels Hall of St Michael church. There were approximately 50-60 people from Prior Lake. At this event, with representation from the state level Beyond the Yellow Ribbon organization, a number of presentations were given on how to become a Yellow Ribbon community.
As the group began to work together a leadership team was formed, goals were established and events began to take shape. Selfless volunteers have contributed countless hours to the formation of this exciting, fun and caring organization. This was the beginning of what is now known as Beyond the Yellow Ribbon South of the River.
The first 4 meetings were at the St. Michael Parish office until the membership exceeded the space available. Each monthly meeting saw at least 2-3 new volunteers and the group continued to grow. Since then we have grown with the overwhelming support of the Prior Lake, Jordan, Belle Plaine, Savage and Shakopee city councils. Endorsements from SCALE (Scott County Association in Leadership Excellence) and Prior Lake-Savage School Board have increased the organizations visibility in Scott County. The continued growth in volunteers and the local business communities sincere interest in supporting the military service members of Scott County made it necessary to become a 501c3 Non-profit organization.
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon South of the River is made up of veterans, active service members as well as people who have no affiliation with the military other than their deep gratitude for those who have served or are currently serving and their unwavering love of our great country.