Often times you'll hear from me in my capacity as state senator, but today I write on behalf of the Morrie Miller Athletic Foundation.

The foundation was established in 2004 in memory of my Uncle Morrie to support and sustain Winona area youth athletics.

Uncle Morrie was a terrific athlete and an outstanding person. He was built like a giant, but was friendly as could be at least when he wasn't on the basketball court!

He was a standout athlete at Winona Senior High School and went on to play football at the University of Minnesota.

In addition to his athletic ability, Morrie was a true scholar and earned his Doctorate in Education from the U of M.

Morrie Miller was a warrior and there weren't too many battles in life that could take him down, but unfortunately that changed when he was diagnosed with a rare form cancer in 1989.

We lost Morrie far too soon, but I know he would be so proud knowing his legacy for athletics and passion for youth remains strong and vibrant in Southeastern Minnesota.

As a result of the generous support from the community and beyond, as well as a tremendous group of volunteers, the Morrie Miller Athletic Foundation has granted over $1,500,000 to schools, youth athletic organizations and our cornerstone programs.

Our cornerstone programs include the Winona Community Athletic Complex, Morrie Miller Strength and Conditioning Program, Morrie Miller Youth Baseball and the Morrie Miller Youth Tackle Football League, which now includes teams from Lewiston/Altura, Houston, Rushford/Peterson, Spring Grove and Winona.

Each September, the foundation hosts a weekend of events to honor Morrie and raise funds to support youth athletics.

The weekend kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 15 with a 5K run/walk and kids race at 9 a.m. The banquet dinner is Saturday evening, and we are happy to welcome legendary Minnesota Vikings Coach Bud Grant as our guest speaker.

The weekend concludes on Sunday, Sept. 16 with our ninth annual Morrie Miller Memorial Golf Classic.

For more information about the Morrie Miller Athletic Foundation, upcoming events, participation and sponsorship information, check out our new website at www.morriemiller.org.

Jeremy Miller, president

Morrie Miller Athletic Foundation - Winona