Award Recipients

Build-a-Bike Project Partners from Thomson Reuters, Erik’s Bike Shop, and Eagan Police Department From left to right: Tom Walrath and Paul Godlewski (Thomson Reuters), Amy Patee (Erik’s Bike), Roger New (Eagan Police Department Chief), Erica Kairismand, Maura Coenen, Sharon Sayles Belton, and Alex Cook (all Thomson Reuters)


We are proud to announce our newest partnership – the Build-a-Bike Project with the following partners:

  • Thomson Reuters
  • Eagan Police Department (and other police departments statewide)
  • Erik’s Bike Shop.

January 30, 2020

Green Ribbon Initiatives, a non-profit corporation, is pleased to announce its recognition of a significant community partnership.  Recognition is being given to the Build-a-Bike Project, a partnership among Thomson Reuters, the Eagan Police Department (and other police departments statewide), and Erik’s Bike Shop. The recognition event was held on January 30th at The City of Eagan Police Department. More photos from the event available here.

For seven years Thomson Reuters of Eagan has led the efforts to provide 100 new bikes to deserving children each year.  In the early years the Eagan YMCA served as a distribution point and Big Brothers was involved. The partnership has now evolved to include law enforcement in terms of volunteer participation and increased support through the Minnesota Police Chiefs Association.

The impact of this Build-a-Bike partnership is both personal and significant according to Jill Ondrey, Crime Prevention Director at the Eagan Police Department.  The program allows for positive interaction between children, parents and the Police Department where previous experiences may not have always been positive.  Year after year, the Build-a-Bike program promotes a healthier community climate between police and citizens.

Through the leadership efforts of Thomson Reuters along with significant financial contributions and volunteer time for bicycle assembly, the 7-year partnership has produced 700 bikes for distribution.  Two or more police officers from each participating department volunteer for assembly sessions taking place on the Thomson Reuters campus.  Erik’s Bike Shop provides technical assistants to insure safe and proper assembly.  Steve Parsons of Erik’s Bike Shop is very supportive of the partnership, how it aligns with its mission of getting kids on bikes, and the impact the program has on its employees.  Tim Radaich of Thomson Reuters notes the importance of the program providing evidence of broader support of law enforcement departments in the community and around the state.

Recently 100 bike helmets were donated, by new partner, the American Academy of Neurology, enhancing the important safety element of biking.

This partnership demonstrates how leveraging common interests, passions, and resources, can benefit entire communities in ways that often go unnoticed.  This partnership is clearly sustainable and is an effective program for building community.

Community engagement connects people from all walks of life. Connected communities enjoy a higher standard of living and improved overall wellness. This recognized partnership helps in meeting basic needs, enhancing lives, and providing opportunity, and everyone benefits from viewing the world through the eyes of others and in serving others.

If you’d like to learn more about this Build-a-Bike initiative, here is a news story from 2018.

Green Ribbon Initiatives desires to see community engagement awards that:

  • Increase the sense of community in Eagan.
  • Increase the ability to improve the community at all levels.
  • Increase the utilization of volunteers, especially the aging in place.
  • Increase awareness of community engagement by a wider circle of persons.
  • Recognize community engagement by increasing volunteerism and voter turn out.

Green Ribbon Initiatives was formed for the purpose of identifying and celebrating significant community engagement initiatives and partnerships in Eagan. Awards will be presented to exemplary initiatives in Eagan which build relationships and a collective sense of community in Eagan while promoting sustainable action that strengthens community engagement.

  • The recognition process is meant to support and encourage the cultivation, motivation and coordination of multiple levels of community resources available to strengthen community.
  • Community engagement is understood as individuals and organizations working together on common interests for mutual benefit and in the interest of the larger community.
  • Green Ribbon Initiatives seeks to weave engagement into the community fabric and address barriers to engagement when they are identified.

This partnership is exemplary and significant and meets all selection criteria; we are pleased and excited to make this award.

Green Ribbon Leadership Team

Jim Borgschatz (president), Gene VanOverbeke, Tom Hedges, Brenda Johnson, Dave Unmacht, Mark Streed, Don Hoeft, Dianne Miller, Jamie Hopkins

Green Ribbon Initiatives continues to solicit community partnerships to recognize as well as friends who are interested in being financial partners and in providing other support.

Learn more about previous recipients
Build a Bike Partnership
Easter Lutheran and Multiple Community Partners
Art Works Eagan
PeaceMaker Minnesota and Glacier Hills School
Oak Ridge Elementary and Easter Lutheran Church

Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN and The Open Door